Let me say upfront, I am not a fan of Christian Fundamentalism. I think that much of the secular cultural perspective about fundamentalists have merit. I find many – maybe even most – fundamentalists to be mean spirited, proud, narrow and ignorant. As an Evangelical Christian I am, in many ways, happy that earlier generations of Fundamentalists threw my Evangelical spiritual forefathers out of the fold they had dwelled-in together for a generation. Frankly I see no “fun” in fundamentalism. And more importantly, this parting allowed for greater scholarship, discipleship, and more effective mission by the Evangelicals.
Don’t get me wrong. I have uneasiness about my Evangelical family. We have dysfunction, sin, and short-comings. I fear, at times, that there are those who attempt to open the doors so wide that there is an implicit invitation to some who deny even historic tenets of the Christian faith – err, the Fundamentals. (It’s not that I want to keep Mormans and Theological Liberals out of our club, I just think they ought to become Christians before they can join the NAE.) So I see the flaws in my own ecclesiastical family… but I still openly call them my family.
I suspect this is no secret. None of this is any surprise to those of you who have been members of the churches I have pastored.
But I think I also must acknowledge that there are merits of Fundamentalism that I often overlook and neglect to recognize.
Two articles from the recent 9 Marks e-Journal have reminded me that, like it or not, Fundamentalists are part of my spiritual family-tree, and that there are some admirable qualities visible in that branch.