Monday, June 02, 2008

Fundamentalist Features

Remember our old friend, "taking the Bible literally"? Well, he shows up again in this article from CNN (HT: Cramer Comments). As Cramer says, "Breaking news: not all evangelicals are intellectually inferior Neanderthals!"

I love the picture though. I wonder if Getty images has a file just for "Evangelical Worship Services." Must feature at least one hand raised and something that identifies the setting as rural.

Here's another survey question for you: What does the epiteth "Bible-thumper" mean? It's obviously pejorative, conjuring up the image of a preacher emphasizing a point by striking the Bible in his hand. But do you qualify as a Bible-thumper by virtue of how you physically treat the Bible? How you speak about the Bible? By citing Bible verses (from memory!) to support an argument? Gentle reader, what would you have to know about someone in order to call him or her a Bible-thumper?

According to this article, fundamentalists are a subset of evangelicals; they're the ones who interpret the Bible literally and believe in six calendar days for creation. Which would put a lot of people in the fundamentalist camp who wouldn't accept the label. I would guess that if you surveyed the members of the Evangelical Theological Society, for example, a strong majority of them would qualify as fundamentalists under this definition. Probably a strong majority of churchgoers in "evangelical" denominations, too.

Which brings us to Piper's list of reasons why he doesn't take potshots at fundamentalists (HT: JT), the best of which is the last one.

Update: According to USA Today, the entire Southern Baptist Convention, every last one of them, interprets the Bible literally (HT: JT).

And it turns out that critics of The Shack are bothered by the idea that "salvation is as free to all as an open bar at a party." Let's talk about The Shack, it's critics, and reporters who understand neither in our next post.

1 comment:

jimbo in MO said...

Oh Yeah ? Then why does Jerry Falwell's Liberty University actually teach that the world is, at most, 10,000 years old ? After hearing that one would think they got their accredidation from out in the woods.