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Monday, October 10, 2011

Who wants to be (able to identify) a fundamentalist?

While I could probably keep making new posts listing the various myths about fundamentalists, it would probably be easier just to get them all out of the way.  So I've decided to fast forward this a bit:
│◄◄ ■ ► ►►│ ▼ (Vol) ▲ [CLICK] [CA-CHUNK}
│◄◄ ■ ► ►►│ ▼ (Vol) ▲
Sorry about that, I'm currently experiencing some technical difficulties.  Let me try that again:
│◄◄ ■ ► ►►│ ▼ (Vol) ▲ [CLICK] [WHIRR]
Ah, that's better.  I should be able to turn it off just about here:
│◄◄ ► ►►│ ▼ (Vol) ▲ [CLICK]
│◄◄ ■ ► ►►│ ▼ (Vol) ▲
Welcome, one and all, to today's edition of "Who Wants To Be (Able To Identify) A Fundamentalist?", the game show with potentially millions of participants playing from the comfort of wherever they are at the moment (assuming that they're comfortable wherever they are at the moment).  Skipping to the final round, the question will be: Which of the following is defining characteristic of fundamentalists:
A) holier-than-thou
B) politically and socially conservative
C) anti-intellectual
D) seek to protect the essential, or "fundamental", doctrines of the Christian faith such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, His deity, His substitutionary atonement and second coming, and the authority of the Bible (usually expressed in such terms as "infallibility" or "inerrancy").?
And now to lock... um, contestant #2593 (you don't really believe with this many potential contestants, I'm really going to be able to remember all of their names, do you?), you have a question?  No, sorry, there are no lifelines here, you must be mistaking this for some other game show.  But to make it easier for anyone who really needs it, here's a short list of other "ists" and "-isms" that have appeared in Christian history that maybe perhaps might display some sort of trend that a discerning mind could very well use to identify fundamentalists:
  • Anglicanism- "the faith and doctrine and practice of the Anglican Church"
  • Catholicism- "the beliefs and practices of a Catholic Church"
  • Methodist- "a member of any branch of a Protestant Christian denomination that developed from the evangelistic teachings and work of John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and others in the early 18th cent.: so called from the methodical study and worship practiced by the founders in their 'Holy Club' at Oxford University "
  • Protestantism- "The quality or state of being protestant, especially against the Roman Catholic Church; the principles or religion of the Protestants", "Protestants are so called after the declaration (protestatio) of Martin Luther and his supporters dissenting from the decision of the Diet of Spires (1529)...."
The above list should also explain why the typical dictionary definitions discussed a few posts ago are so patently ridiculous.  One would think that any group of people whose common belief was to read every word of the Bible literally would have chosen to designate themselves by something that included the word "literal" (such as, I don't know, literalists, maybe?[/sarcasm])

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