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A Call for Curriculum: Understanding the Fundamentalism Discussion

Filed under: — jen d @ 10:24 am

Okay, so there is a discussion about fundamentalism going on. Once again I have spent a good part of my working morning checking out recent related discussions and comment threads on Bailie’s and Bixby’s blogs. What I really appreciate about so many of those willing to take part in these discussions is that they have, as Pastor Bixby puts it on Bails, “dared to speak out against the sins of this group while staying in it. Not running away from it as too many… who still criticize it from afar have done” (emphasis mine).

And now here I am making a humble request to those like Pastor Bixby who have done the “leg work” and have, as he has (I gather, long before this discussion ever swept the blogosphere), “studied, prayed, examined positions, analyzed, prayed, critiqued, called upon God, confessed [their] sins, committed [themselves] to His will, re-examined [their] doubts, pored over thousands of thousands of pages, determined not to be a man-pleaser, fought in the Spirit, fought in the flesh, asked forgiveness, demonstrated arrogance, prayed, cried, scorned, and prayed, [who] in the end, [have] become [fundamentalists] by conviction.”

To such folks who have committed themselves to studying the issues, the history, the essence of the claims on both sides (and yes, even to those who have not yet made a decision or who have made one to leave based upon conviction in the other direction), I beg you: can someone please suggest to me, and others who have not attended seminary and who have, unfortunately, only been born into fundamentalism, brought up in it, taught by those who claim its credos, but have never been given a solid education in its history and comprehensive essence PLEASE suggest a curriculum, a reading list, anything that we could pick up and begin with? I’m thinking that all four volumes of THE FUNDAMENTALS is a good starting point. But no doubt there are more resources. I’m looking for reading that repesents as balanced a view as possible (i.e., not a whole list containing books written only by those who’ve left the movement and burned all bridges leading back to it, nor its opposite; there must at least be a balance of authorship and viewpoint, either within the list itself or within an individual written piece).

I believe in arguing as intelligently as possible from an informed standpoint. That should motivate me to put my hand to my mouth more than I do. I’m rather young, rather naive, and rather stupid, when it comes down to it; I therefore need help from those who are more mature in years and/or faith, better-read and more thoroughly-educated, and blessed with a bit more intelligence to guide me and others who, I think, would admit along with me that we just don’t possess enough comprehensive base knowledge to participate with full honesty and accuracy in what has become a very important discussion.


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