'The lost message' on Christian Fundamentalism
The 'totally lost message' has been writing an entertaining series on Christian Fundamentalism. He and I go back a long way. In fact, we both became Fundies together in our late teens, and so he writes with insight and sympathy. Nevertheless, in the best ecumenical tradition, his protestations have been curdling some Fundamentalist blood.
Much of his mean but hilarious Fundie-windup diplomacy happens on other blogs. Most amusing of all was his recent escapade onto a Fundie blog in which he took issue with the hermeneutic being used by the contributors (i.e. just quote the bible and that's that). He actually managed to convince one poor soul (honestly!) that he owned a freedom-yearning slave, but didn't want him released because the bible doesn't command him to!
Simon's posts have been all the more interesting as he, like myself, is a 'recovering Fundie' (i.e. someone who has learnt a lot from this tradition - above all a deep love of and respect for the Scriptures, an emphasis on a lively 'relationship with Christ', and a prayerful devotional life - but cannot stand its 'turn brain off' tactic, dubious proof-texting, some of its doctrines concerning Scripture, bizarre and blinkered hermeneutics, overly sectarian intellectual-social-positioning, often fruit-loop eschatology, the conquer-all mentality, its frequent 'God-ordained' association with the political right, and its often arrogant quasi-scholarly intellectual bankruptcy - especially in many of its so-called apologists. That's my definition of a 'recovering Fundie' anyway). Have a look at these:
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Fundamentalist understanding of Scripture A
Part 3: Fundamentalist understanding of Scripture B
Part 4: Fundamentalism and Biblical texts
... more is promised, including a superb short analysis of 2 Tim 3:16 (I've read a draft)
But as Jim West recently wrote on his blog: "Conversations with Fundamentalists are dead end streets and not really worth the time or effort they require". While this is, I doubt, meant as a universal truth, my own experience of late has been sadly confirming his claim. Normally, discussion with Fundamentalists do not even begin; you become a deviant to be corrected. But in another sense, I'm happily resigned to this. We all have our own perspectives, and the Fundies have there own uniqunesses with which to enrich the Christian tradition.