I have no problem with fundamentalists. Many of my friends are fundamentalists. As a matter of fact, I was a very fundamental fundamentalist. In examining how fundamentalism began, this article does a good job, although I wouldn’t contribute the reaction to German higher criticism alone, nor start the process in 1906 (although that is not really what the article does).
At the turn of the 20th century, German theology turned to Higher Criticism and introduced a brilliant and brazen apostasy to the world. Christ never rose from the dead; Mary had been impregnated by a soldier in the Roman army; Forgers had composed Old Testament prophecies after the fact. Moses led his people across the insignificant and shallow “Reed Sea” and not the deep and perilous “Red Sea”.
God, in effect, was dead. And besides, the Bible gave such different views of Him, the modernists declared, that it was impossible to reconcile the Old Testament Jehovah with the beneficent heavenly Father of Jesus in the New Testament.
Higher criticism flourished among intellectuals and gained popularity for nearly 50 years before religious conservatives mounted a united attack against it….
I think examining the American politic scene at the turn of the 19th century shows that a fundamentalism was alive and well then. Further, the reaction to the Revised Version as well as the South’s reaction against abolition might be considered a Fundamentalist strain. It is not merely a reaction to German higher criticism, but more than that. Yes, there are the anti-secular progress strains, but there are many fundamentalists, I believe, that are honest believers, focused on the fundamentals of the faith. Many take and grapple with scholarship – I know one that continues to impress me as he does it – and there are some that simply refuses to look at anything. For them, faith is nothing more than the knowledge that they are always and have always been and will always be right.
Anyway, a great article,