Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I think I should make something clear today. Today, I want to talk about fundamentalism. You hear the term thrown around a lot in Religious Studies departments, but no one seems to be able to define what it means. Among these folks and religiously committed types, it seems to mean, "A religion with a bunch of zealots that scares me." After much refinement in the field, they came up with something similar to, "A religious movement characterized by stringent committment to certain doctrines." Positively stunning. You could call any Christian a fundamentalist by that definition! Right now, I have dozens of old lectures and conversations with my Religious Studies professors floating back to me saying, "You're only saying that because you have a personal narrow view of what a Christian is." Well, it's not a personal view, but you're darn skippy I have a narrow definition. I ask you, "In whom do you trust?" and you'll probably give me an answer pretty close to the Apostles' Creed (Or the Nicene). And the key is, you really mean it. And not only that, but those words you've spoken form the central, guiding reality of your life. The work of God to act in the world to save sinners, ultimately through the work of his Son, Jesus Christ, is the ultimate truth of this world. The price of tea in China, nor the societal debate between classical liberalism and classical socialism doesn't alter this fundamental reality. Christians have always had a way of impacting the world around them without being altered by it. Stained by it, or tempted, but never altered. And that's the bottom line.

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