Beliefs of Fundamentalists Christians

Started by Dave Likeness, April 21, 2013, 09:44:24 PM

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John Mundinger

Quote from: Steverem on April 22, 2013, 10:11:14 AMSeveral years ago, I wrote an article for Crisis magazine* about the use of language as a rhetorical tool by liberal church activists.  One of the points made was the way they used the term "fundamentalist."  Divorcing the term from its original, historical meaning, it was used by folks like Bob Edgar, Jim Wallis, et. al., to describe anyone that held resolutely to their religious beliefs and resisted any efforts to "modernize" the theology.

I'm curious whether the liberal church activists use the term that way because that is also the way that the fundamentalist Christians used the term.

I'm also curious to know whether the persons about whom you wrote referred to themselves as "liberal church activists". 
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Charles_Austin

And it is because of the misunderstanding of what "fundamentalism" is that I asked Pastor Crandall how he describes himself. Sola Scriptura doesn't do it. Maybe the question is: Do you view the Bible in the same way as those sometimes called "fundamentalists" view the Bible?


BrotherBoris

Also I would add that fundamentalists:

1.  believe you must carry a Bible with you to church (and if you don't, you probably haven't really been "saved")
2.  reject any kind of grace or forgiveness of sins associated with the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion
3.  would be HORRIFIED at the Lutheran idea of voluntary individual confession and absolution
4.  find infant baptism questionable at best, or absolute apostasy at worst.
5.  find the idea of a church following an appointed lectionary to be "Catholic", formalistic, "spiritually dead" and hampering the Holy Spirit's work
6.  reject all forms of liturgical prayer (even the Lord's Prayer) as "vain repetitions".  All prayers must be unplanned and free style.
7.  have no appreciation for the Lutheran chorale or the fine organ music of J.S.Bach
8.  believe that any vestments for clergy are part of the 'rags of popery' and should be condemned.
9.  believe the KJV Bible is the ultimate authority on everything
10. are such complete teetotalers that they would condemn champagne served at a wedding or even food cooked in wine.
11. believe Jesus' first miracle was turning water into grape juice.
12. believe all problems determining the true age of the Earth can be explained away by referencing Noah's flood.
13. usually believe that the USA has some kind of special "covenant with God" as the New Israel of sorts.
14. believe that the secular nation of modern Israel is God's special nation and must be given carte blanche on whatever it wants.
15. have a very difficult time separating politics from doctrine, because they tend to see politics as dogma.

George Erdner

Quote from: Dave Likeness on April 22, 2013, 09:13:12 AM
As Lutherans we should not underestimate the
impact of the Fundamentalist view that Christ
will return to rule on this earth for 1000 years.
This false view pervades their beliefs and colors
their view of American foreign policy.

As strong supporters of Israel they believe that
Christ will set up his headquarters in a rebuilt
Solomon's temple in Jerusalem.


Again I ask, where do you find this? Where is the official source of information on Fundamentalists where you find with such definitive clarity exactly what they do and do not believe? 


I'll grant that I have heard some self-proclaimed Christians say those things, but how does one know if they are officially part of the Fundamentalist Church or if they are simply independent Christians expressing their own personal opinions and interpretations?

Pastor Ted Crandall

Quote from: BrotherBoris on April 22, 2013, 10:36:50 AM
Also I would add that fundamentalists:

1.  believe you must carry a Bible with you to church (and if you don't, you probably haven't really been "saved")
2.  reject any kind of grace or forgiveness of sins associated with the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion
3.  would be HORRIFIED at the Lutheran idea of voluntary individual confession and absolution
4.  find infant baptism questionable at best, or absolute apostasy at worst.
5.  find the idea of a church following an appointed lectionary to be "Catholic", formalistic, "spiritually dead" and hampering the Holy Spirit's work
6.  reject all forms of liturgical prayer (even the Lord's Prayer) as "vain repetitions".  All prayers must be unplanned and free style.
7.  have no appreciation for the Lutheran chorale or the fine organ music of J.S.Bach
8.  believe that any vestments for clergy are part of the 'rags of popery' and should be condemned.
9.  believe the KJV Bible is the ultimate authority on everything
10. are such complete teetotalers that they would condemn champagne served at a wedding or even food cooked in wine.
11. believe Jesus' first miracle was turning water into grape juice.
12. believe all problems determining the true age of the Earth can be explained away by referencing Noah's flood.
13. usually believe that the USA has some kind of special "covenant with God" as the New Israel of sorts.
14. believe that the secular nation of modern Israel is God's special nation and must be given carte blanche on whatever it wants.
15. have a very difficult time separating politics from doctrine, because they tend to see politics as dogma.

Has the ELCA approached them about establishing full pulpit and altar fellowship? 

8)

Steverem

Quote from: George Erdner on April 22, 2013, 12:12:51 PM

Again I ask, where do you find this? Where is the official source of information on Fundamentalists where you find with such definitive clarity exactly what they do and do not believe? 


Brian indicated this in a previous post you might not have seen since you have him blocked, but this series of essays is widely considered to have set the foundation for the fundamentalist movement.

Michael Slusser

Quote from: Steverem on April 22, 2013, 12:30:44 PM
Quote from: George Erdner on April 22, 2013, 12:12:51 PM

Again I ask, where do you find this? Where is the official source of information on Fundamentalists where you find with such definitive clarity exactly what they do and do not believe? 


Brian indicated this in a previous post you might not have seen since you have him blocked, but this series of essays is widely considered to have set the foundation for the fundamentalist movement.

That's a very helpful link. I read George Marsden years ago with profit, and the later essay linked from the bibliography of this Wikipedia article summarizes in concise fashion his treatment of The Fundamentals. One thing I had forgotten was the important role played by the Scofield Reference Bible in the rise of Fundamentalism. In that same first decade of the 20th century, so-called "red letter" Bibles began to appear. That time, and the ideas that flourished with the help of Union Oil head Lyman Stewart, continue to have a lot of influence in America.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Dave Likeness

father Slusser makes a good point.  The Scofield
Reference Bible is a key component for Fundamentalists.
This Bible  gives footnotes for the 1000 year reign
of Christ on earth.  This false theology provides
them with security for the end times.

George Erdner

Quote from: Steverem on April 22, 2013, 12:30:44 PM
Quote from: George Erdner on April 22, 2013, 12:12:51 PM

Again I ask, where do you find this? Where is the official source of information on Fundamentalists where you find with such definitive clarity exactly what they do and do not believe? 


Brian indicated this in a previous post you might not have seen since you have him blocked, but this series of essays is widely considered to have set the foundation for the fundamentalist movement.

I'm familiar with those essays. Usually, I address topic rather than specific posters. In this case, since it's Dave Likeness who keeps making authoritative pronouncements on the official teachings of the Fundamentalists, I am specifically seeking an answer from Dave Likeness about where he is getting the information he proclaims as if he were cutting and pasting from the official Fundamentalist Confessions.

As long as he's going to keep making blanket statements about "them", I think he needs to define "them" with a heck of a lot more precision if he expects us to take his pronouncements seriously.

Bergs

There is a very insightful interview of Pastor Rick Warren by Pastor John Piper on youtube.  If you have read The Purpose Driven Life it can be a more enjoyable interview.  It is long.  I am not sure these two fine evangelical pastors not see themselves as fundamentalist.  Maybe they are.  Certainly the popular culture sees them as fundamentalist.

The interview hits a wide range of subjects as Pastor Piper focuses his questions on what he agrees with in the book and what he disagrees with.  Pastor Warren responds and much common ground is found.  I was fascinated by the discussion.  It is more fascinating given recent tragic events in Pastor Warren's life.  Would he answer the same way today to some of the questions?  I think so.

If you have the inclination and time here is the link.  It may elucidate some beliefs of fundamentalists.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTCj8PG0FPc

Brian J. Bergs
Minneapolis, MN
But let me tell Thee that now, today, people are more persuaded than ever that they have perfect freedom, yet they have brought their freedom to us and laid it humbly at our feet. But that has been our doing.
The Grand Inquisitor

Jay Michael

Quote from: George Erdner on April 22, 2013, 08:21:19 PM
As long as he's going to keep making blanket statements about "them", I think he needs to define "them" with a heck of a lot more precision if he expects us to take his pronouncements seriously.
Interesting that Pr Likeness' posts are bring elevated to the status of pronouncements.  He seems to be rather "spot on" unless evidence is presented to the contrary.

Dave Likeness

In the 20th century there was one event that turned
the spotlight on the fundamentalist movement.  It was
the 1925 Scopes trial in Tennessee.  A biology teacher
was on trial for teaching evolution in a public school.

John Scopes was found guilty and paid a small fine.
An aging William Jennings Bryan and a media savvy
Clarence Darrow were the opposing lawyers in this
case.  Bryan won the case , but Darrow won in the
court of public opinion.

George Erdner

Quote from: Dave Likeness on April 23, 2013, 09:28:24 AM
In the 20th century there was one event that turned
the spotlight on the fundamentalist movement.  It was
the 1925 Scopes trial in Tennessee.  A biology teacher
was on trial for teaching evolution in a public school.

John Scopes was found guilty and paid a small fine.
An aging William Jennings Bryan and a media savvy
Clarence Darrow were the opposing lawyers in this
case.  Bryan won the case , but Darrow won in the
court of public opinion.


I'm still waiting for some indication of just who fit and who do not fit into the category you're calling "Fundamentalists". While there were (to the best of my knowledge) any members of the LCMS on the anti-evolution teaching side in that famous trial, more than a few of those posting in this forum are in complete agreement with the anti-evolutionists. Does that mean they are fundamentalists?

John Mundinger

Quote from: Dave Likeness on April 23, 2013, 09:28:24 AM
In the 20th century there was one event that turned
the spotlight on the fundamentalist movement.  It was
the 1925 Scopes trial in Tennessee.  A biology teacher
was on trial for teaching evolution in a public school.

My earliest memory of learning something about the theory of evolution was in a grade school science class.  The school happened to be an LCMS parochial school.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: George Erdner on April 23, 2013, 09:49:43 AM
I'm still waiting for some indication of just who fit and who do not fit into the category you're calling "Fundamentalists". While there were (to the best of my knowledge) any members of the LCMS on the anti-evolution teaching side in that famous trial, more than a few of those posting in this forum are in complete agreement with the anti-evolutionists. Does that mean they are fundamentalists?

Not necessarily.

One Lutheran pastor wrote: "The creation account is not the key doctrine on which the church stands or falls, but once you start dismissing the historicity of one part of scripture (the parts that were written as history, granted) than you inevitably undermine the key claims of scripture which are also falsifiable historical claims.

Lots of people believe lots of things about the origins of the world, but the account of Genesis is either literally true as history or it is not. And if it is shown to be not true than the entire redemption metanarrative of the Bible unravels; our faith is in vain and we're still in our sins."

Another wrote, "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that"-  that if one Biblical doctrine (such as a literal 6-day creation) fell your faith would fall because one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God.

Both would be Fundamentalist views, that faith is based on an inerrant Scripture. It is not the Lutheran one, that coming to faith through the Gospel, we then confess an inerrant Scripture. I.e., faith is not a house of cards.

See "Gospel and Scripture," CTCR, November 1972

E.g.: "The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures. [footnote 13]

and,

"Relative to the role of the Gospel as norm in the Scriptures, however, it is important to observe that it is one thing to say that it is contrary to the Holy Spirit's intent when Scripture is interpreted in such a way that the Gospel is obscured; it is quite another thing to say that since the Holy Spirit's intent in the Scriptures is to proclaim the Gospel, it was never His intent that His Word in Genesis 1-11, for instance, should be understood as relating facts of history, or to say that in view of "the perpetual aim of the Gospel" (AC XXVIII, 66; Latin) apostolic directives for the church's life may be set aside. It is one thing to search the Scriptures to discover ever more fully how they witness to Christ and relate to His Gospel; it is quite another thing to explore the implications of the Gospel for freedom in handling the Scriptures. The interest of one is to see the richness and the glory of the Gospel to aid preaching; the interest of the other is to explain the alleged limitations and flaws of the Bible in a way that avoids the embarrassment of defending it as God's very own inerrant Word while at the same time upholding and affirming its authority. The Gospel is the norm in the Scriptures in the sense that it absolutely prohibits understanding any passage to teach salvation by works. It is not norm in the sense that the center of Scripture becomes a device to sanction a view of the Bible and a method of interpreting it which virtually denies that the whole Bible is God's inspired, authoritative Word on all matters concerning which it speaks." [page 11]
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

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