Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Harder But More Realistic

Theologically, I am a Conservative Evangelical. I am not, however, a fundamentalist.

I understand that for many there is really no difference between being a conservative Evangelical and a Fundamentaslist. I draw a distinction though simply because experience tells me that being a fundamentalist entails a certain mindset that is generally lacking in evangelicalism.

Fundamentalists tend towards legalism, and they like their faith spoon fed to them. They love arguments from authority. They really love things to be black and white. Situations are either right or wrong. Circumstances are viewd in simplistic terms. These things put togehter make reality easier to digest, but, in my opinion, reality is not better understood. In fact I think that thinking along fundamentalist lines invovles a basic disconnect from reality.

Reality does not exist in small easily digestible bits. It all hits you in the face. Arguments from authority, like "the Bible says," require more explanation than the simple statement in reality. Fundamentlaists don't normally do well in those circumstances because they don't really know, for the most part, how or where the Bible says a lot of things. They were just told by someone they trust and are parotting that line.

For my part, I don't want anyone saying "Pastor Brent says." I want people to be able to say what they believe and why, and I want them to know how the Bible supports what they believe.

Reality also isn't black or white. There are shades and hues and colours. The kinds of descriptions of reality that fail to take that into account are really abstractions of reality.

Fundamentalists may fnd it easy to live in a world like that, but it isn;t the world the rest of us live in.

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