fundamentalism 1: foundations
5/11/2006 10:50:00 PM
I have heard the word "fundamentalism" thrown around on blogs a lot lately. A lot of the things that are going on in the Southern Baptist Convention are being blamed on the resurgency of fundamentalism and many bloggers are opposed to the idea. In light of these things, I thought I'd investigate this phanomenon in a series of post.

The roots of fundamentalism came at the turn of the century in America when the United States was stuggling with the rise of modernism. Modernism brought a whole slew of new arbiters of truth that were replacing the Bible. For centuries, the gerneral consensus was that the Bible was God's authoritative word, and this went without question. The new authorties were science (in the form of evolution) and higher criticism, which began to question the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture as a whole, thus diminishing it to something less than divine.

In reaction to this, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (now the PCA) published a pamplet called that outlined the "five fundamentals" of the Christian faith. These are:
  • Inerrancy of the Scriptures
  • The virgin birth and the deity of Jesus
  • The doctrine of substitutionary atonement through God's grace and human faith
  • The bodily resurrection of Jesus
  • The authenticity of Christ's miracles
This movement gained steam in the early 20th century and by the 1950 peaked. It began to wane, but the legacy lived on. Any group sense then that has placed biblical doctrine in high esteem has been labeled "fundamentalist" by other groups.

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