Last week I attended the Bible Faculty Leadership Summit at Bob Jones University. The highlight for me was the address Kevin Bauder gave on fundamentalism and scholarship. His talk was based on his recent twelve-part series of “In the Nick of Time” posts.
His talk gave rise to fervent (and actively ongoing) discussion. There has been broad agreement, I feel, but a few questions have been raised (not least by Bauder). Here are two:
- How do we fundamentalists avoid the catastrophic failure of the many evangelicals who have willingly betrayed their Lord for a A Place at the Table? (Examples from the history of German, British, and Scottish scholarship are relevant here, too.)
- Will fundamentalists be allowed to play in the big leagues if they insist on avoiding doctrinal compromise? For example, will we be allowed to argue from inspiration and not merely from historical probability when it comes to the truth of the Gospels? Will we be allowed to deny some of the assured results of form criticism?
- Following that, can we join societies like SBL, engaging in cordial, professional relationships with men and women who are not merely unregenerated but who are wolves in sheep’s clothing?
I’m not a scholar by nearly anyone’s definition (even my mother’s: I’ve got to finish the dissertation first!), but I hope to serve Christ’s church by teaching and writing. It behooves me to ask these questions.
See my next post for an example of what fundamentalists may become if they don’t find God’s answers for our situation.