Monday, October 28, 2013

Sound Bite Theology: Summing up Fundamentalism in One Sentence

For Fundamentalism, Jesus' incarnation, life, ministry, death and resurrection serve primarily as the central narrative-core of their true savior, the inerrant Bible.


  1. It certainly appears that way; though I am certain that most fundamentalists would insist they are trusting in the accomplished work of Christ alone. Roman Catholics the Eastern Orthodox and high Anglicans are not usually lumped together with fundamentalists partly because they ascribe to ecclesial tradition a magisterial authority on par, or nearly so, with Scripture. But whether it is sola Scriptura or Scripture and tradition, the temptation to seek salvation from a written or transmitted divine revelation about Jesus Christ remains for believers of all stripes, no?

  2. You raise a good point. There are "fundamentalists" of many kinds, not just those who hold to sola Scriptura. The issue it seems is whether the life, death and resurrection of Christ are considered in terms of a "creed" to be believed or some kind of prescriptive account to which one must subscribe to in order to be "saved," or whether scriptures, creeds, doctrines, etc. are but witnesses pointing not to themselves but rather to the "Christ-event" as the definitive self-revelation of God.

    To me this question is not merely one of semantics. Rather, the latter approach relativizes creeds, doctrines, even the scriptures themselves. They are not the final word. Christ himself is the final Word of God. We expect from these witnesses a true word about Christ, as witnesses of the faith of the earliest disciples of Christ. In this sense they are foundational, and serve as the seed bed of theology. But they are derivative of the Christ-event which is final, but not static! The Christ-event is eternal (ever-present) and thus continues to inform further inquiry in light of new contexts, new discoveries, and new insights.