Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 122:487 (Jul 1965)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

“The Modernity Of Fundamentalism,” John Opie, Jr., The Christian Century, May 12, 1965, pp. 608-11.

This is a switch, a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Whoever wildly dreamed the time would come that fundamentalists would be called modernists? Yet this is the accusation made in this article.

The author himself apparently senses the offbeat nature of his thesis, for he begins by acknowledging the usual view that “fundamentalism has been regarded as an irrevelant anachronism among contemporary religious movements” (p. 608). Then he presents fundamentalism’s claim that it represents orthodox theology and “has preserved the true gospel.”

His position is that fundamentalism “is really a distinctively modern movement which could not have emerged without the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution” and “that fundamentalism turns out to be more dogmatically ‘modernist’ than modernism itself” (p. 608). The reason for this view is because fundamentalism “approaches religious questions exclusively through a special use of rational inquiry, scientific method and ideological theory.”

Opie’s first accusation is that fundamentalism is rationalistic. He calls it “rationalism with Christianity” (p. 609). He bases his accusation upon fundamentalism’s doctrine of the Bible. Basically the same approach is true of his accusations of scientism and authoritarian ideology.

As a fundamentalist I found the description of fundamentalism a portrayal of a different breed of cat from what I am familiar with. The picture is misleading if not downright false. The charges are without substantiation. The conclusions are wild leaps of fancy. That someone would think of fundamentalism in such a way is no surprise, but that The Christian Century would publish such a contrived caricature is.

“The Social Conscience Of An Evangelical,” S. Richey Kamm, The Asbury Seminarian, January, 1965, pp. 6-14.

“How can a fundamentalist have a social conscience?” is the question put to one evangelical professor of sociology (although not stated, probably the author). This is not an isolated query, but a general demand of the evangelical

Christian from theological liberals and others embroiled in the current struggle for “social justice.” An Inter-Varsity worker at Berkeley was asked, “What have you personally done to help bring about social justice in our day?” (“New Mood,” Paul Byer, His, June, 1965, pp. 1-3. This issue features “The Berkeley Affair”).

In my judgment many evangelicals are jumpi...

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