Tomorrow and the following Sunday, 3/8/15, I decided I'd do some looking back at a couple of messages that have particularly motivated and given definition to my ministry--a couple of capsules of ecclesiastical autobiography. For most of my life I have preached messages. I have preached sermons about sermons--the Sermon on the Mount, for example. Having preached in the same church for more than 40 years, there are plenty of times that I have preached the same message. The first message I preached as Pastor of Covington Bible Church, I've probably preached 25 times (On March 15, I'm planning to use that one for my half of a tag-team sermon. I'll start and Pastor Doug will finish.), but I don't remember preaching about one of my past sermons. (We'll be posting the videos of the message at our Truthcasting site. I'll try to remember and post the links in the comments on this blogpost.
As I said, the past message, as will tomorrow's message, have an autobiographical element to them. I grew up spiritually in Fundamentalism. I owe much to that heritage, but I am bothered that so many have taken an excellent heritage and squandered it. They have forgotten what to be fundamental about. They are the reason that I seldom use the title to describe myself. I don't think I've changed all that much. Much, maybe most, of the movement has. You can listen to the message, when it is posted, to find out more, but below are a couple of good articles that help explain Fundamentalism and what has become.
- The first article was published last summer by Biola University.
The Fundamentals vs. 'fundamentalism'The Fundamentals publishing project is a part of the history of fundamentalism in America, to be sure, yet the two words are also different in important ways
Note especially the last section on legacy.
- The second is published by Wheaton College's Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals. The article, titled simply "Fundamentalism" gives a brief history of the movement.
- This third, very short, article, by Alvin Pantinga, is, using the standard of many Fundamentalists, vulgar. He uses the term that technically means that one's mother is a canine several times and with several regional variations in his brief article. If you are going to be insulted or bothered by that don't click the link. I include the article, with warning to stay away if you are likely to be offended, because it gives a clear picture of how most people outside the movement see it. They regard "Fundamentalist" as a " term of abuse or disapprobation"--an insult. Again I offer a warning. Here is the link.
Keep in mind though, that sometimes being insulted is a good thing. I didn't tell you this was easy.
A while back in the midst of a health crisis I recited my heart-health heritage. It is awful, full of people who died young and had major crises/surgeries even younger, but we don't have the privilege of picking our ancestors. Since most of us were young and dumb when we started our Theological journey, we didn't have a lot of intelligent choice over that heritage either. What we do with our heritage is another matter. I'm still working on that.