Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Why Fundamentalism Is Losing Its Younger Followers

When I officially bolted from fundamentalism (by leaving the staff of an Independent Baptist Church to attend Dallas Seminary), I was asked by my pastor why so many of us young "preacher boys" were leaving fundamentalism. That is a great question that I wish could be discussed more often in fundamentalists circles.

Check out this explanation for why so many leave fundamentalism. Written by a professing fundamentalist, it seeks to engage Romans 14 from a fundamentalist perspective. I would love to hear your thoughts on this article, especially from those who are former "fundies" like me!


Jared Nelson said...

What defines "Fundamentalist"? When I started attending, I was actually suprised how fundamentalist DTS was. Not the faculty, but it seems the administration likes rules.

BCJ said...

Originally a fundamentalist was a movement in reaction to modernism in the 1920s. Those fundamentalists were defined by their belief in 5 major doctrines: Inerrancy, Virgin Birth, Physical resurrection, Atonement, and the Second Coming. By this definition, almost all evangelicals would be considered fundamentalists. So the distinction between a fundamentalist and an evangelical is now no longer doctrinal (as far as the major doctrines go anyway). Now, a fundamentalist is known more by strict, separatist behavior, and an insistence that all believers live their lives with the same set of separatist views. Consequently, I would not define DTS as a Fundamentalist school. I think the fundamentalist type "rules" to which you refer probably have their roots in politics. DTS has certain "rules" I think because of political reasons. But for those of us who come from true fundamentalist schools, DTS is nowhere near that kind of Christian legalism. For example, I never got "in trouble" at DTS for attending a movie.

Jared Nelson said...

True. In the student body I do think there is a mixture of some Old school fundys (Fundamentalists), neo-evangelicals, traditionalists and even emerging church people. I guess that's what you get with an interdenominational school!