For those of you that haven’t had the time to read Dr. Kevin Bauder’s series on Fundamentalism I have extracted one teaser from his latest essay. I have taken this one building block out of his solidly constructed analysis of history. If this tidbit doesn’t stand by itself then you need to start at the beginning of the series and read through to this point. The series has caused me to reflect upon both my own faith as well as upon the dynamics within churches that I have been associated with.
“The shift in metaphysical dream [precedes a worldview] resulted in professing Christians (including fundamentalists) whose vision of the faith was surprisingly and appallingly earthbound. While they gabbled of the historic doctrines of the faith, those doctrines often ceased to grip their imaginations and consequently ceased to influence their lives. Focused almost entirely on the immanent order and driven by populism, these Christians felt compelled to adapt their religion to every breeze of cultural change. A concern for relevance displaced the thirst for transcendence, but what they thought of as relevance turned out to be mere trendiness (and nothing is less relevant than a trendy church). Evangelism became the new mysticism, and evangelicalism (including the later fundamentalism) became profoundly pragmatic. In the long run, much of Christianity was transformed into a venue for baptizing worldly trends so that the faithful could enjoy the same amusements as the rest of the culture, only in a partially sanitized way. Fundamentalists and evangelicals still struggle against (or, more often, capitulate to) this dynamic.”
I would be interested in people’s reactions to this extract or the entire series.