Did Liberalism v Fundamentalism destroy evangelicalism?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by NateT, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. NateT

    NateT
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    Perhaps some of you students of history can help me here.
    I'm noticing more and more that Christians feel like if we aren't finding the fault with someone's theology we aren't doing our job.

    I'm noticing this particularly among those in their mid 20's to mid 30's (but that is because that's the group I'm around.) Also, since I'm in seminary, I'm sure that skews my observations, but I noticed this also before I came to seminary.

    I'm wondering if the resistance to liberalism, both within the SBC the last 30 years and as a whole for the last 100 years has contributed to this.

    I guess my question is, do you think generations that have battled against liberalism and trying to root it out at every possible turn have taught (implicitly or explicitly) the next generation to be cynical and suspicious? Or is this something that has been true throughout all of Christendom?
     
  2. thjplgvp

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    NateT

    Somewhere in my past reading (we are talking years here) I remember a statement stating “that when we take a prolific stand against something we quite naturally draw closer to that position for we will identify with the similarities between the two.”

    This could be what you are speaking of here we have allowed those things which we are in agreement with to be allowed within the whole (local church). Jesus warned the disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees that which we agree with is still part of the leaven we need to look at the whole of doctrine and not just the spice.

    Thjplgvp
     
  3. npetreley

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    I'm sorry I'm not addressing your point, but I get the impression liberalism is already well rooted in the church, even the SBC. I don't get the impression people are trying to root it out, just trying to prune here and there and prevent some types of extremes from blossoming. But the roots are already well established. Just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
     
  4. NateT

    NateT
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    I think I was unclear in the OP. I guess what I was thinking about was something like this:

    Mr. Smith was an SBC pastor in 1975. He remembers well all the work that was being published denying the authenticity and inerrancy of the Bible. He remembers well trying to battle against allowing historical and literary criticism enter into the SBC seminaries. He was so glad that the conservatives were able to take back the convention. Now, every chance he gets, he tells his "war stories" to the next generation of preachers and pastors. He talks about how Professor Jones was trying to hide the fact that he was a liberal by using conservative language, but changing the meanings. He tells about how he and his friends found out Prof. Jones and got him fired from the seminary.

    So now Mr. Williams sits under Pastor Smith for a few years. As he leaves pastor smith's congregation, he feels that he is the defender of biblical conservativism. As a result, Mr. Williams jumps on the slightest mis-speak or ambiguity in someone's argument. He does not show grace, but assumes that anyone who does not agree with him must be one of those liberals.

    At times, it seems like there are a lot of people trying to be the next Paige Patterson or Judge Pressler, looking for the area of doctrinal error in which they can hang their hat.

    I'm NOT talking about people who confronting Open Theism, or feminist theology. But those people who are talking to orthodox biblical scholars who have a different take on a subject (e.g. Old Earth Creation or Young Earth Creation --- OR --- elders vs. deacons)

    Just my 2 cents. Maybe it's more of an indication of the people I'm around than anything else :)
     
  5. Pipedude

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    There is no question that the "defense of the faith" attracts Barneys who want to be the next Athanasius, and who are altogether empty suits otherwise. And there's no question that there are plenty of Christians who will follow somebody like that because it's so much easier than following Jesus. The failings of human beings defy enumeration.

    Yes, this has been something of a baton relay since the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy, with one Barney handing the baton off to the next. Despite all that, though, the history of apostasy shows an unvarying pattern of starting small, sneaking, and whimpering pitifully when some meanie calls you a heretic. Athanasius suffered greatly for calling heresy heresy.

    Some good men see the problem; some good men are blind to it, and happy that way. It's a mess. Good luck in sorting it out.
     
  6. NateT

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    I'll let you know when I get it all sorted out :rolleyes:
     
  7. Pipedude

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    Same here.
     

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