Monday, August 25, 2008

Fundamentals

Fundamentalism as defined by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter:
"A fundamentalist believes...that I am close to God. Everything that I believe is absolutely right. Anyone who disagrees with me, in any case, is inherently wrong and therefore, inferior. And it violates my basic principles if I negotiate with anyone else or listen to their point of view or modify my own positions at all."

11 comments:

Elena said...

I think President Carter might enjoy Candy's blog!

Karyn said...

one more reason to love Jimmy Carter :)

Kelly said...

Isn't Carter a former Southern Baptist who was with a group that started a different Baptist convention, because they felt that conservative Baptists had lost touch with their progressive roots? I seem to remember that Clinton was part of the group, as well.

Sue Bee said...

If Wikipedia is to believed, Jimmy & Bill were part of a group that broke from the SBC and started the New Baptist Covenant. It is described as a "broadly inclusive movement."

I think his definition of a fundamentalist pins the tail on the donkey.

Kelly said...

I think his definition of a fundamentalist pins the tail on the donkey.

I don't know, you might be painting with a broad brush there. ;)

Unashamed said...

Interestingly, it's not Candy that came to my mind when I read his definition...

Sue Bee said...

I don't know, you might be painting with a broad brush there.

Sorry if I am offending the open-minded and tolerant faction of fundamentalism. :o)

Kelly said...

I have met a few people who self-identified as fundamentalist, and still were able to have good religious discussions with me. They felt that people other than fundamentalists could be saved, and even conceded some of my Catholic points on occasion.

For example, one said that I was correct that the New Testament did speak highly of celibacy, and that it was a valid option for those in ministry.

I have found them to be, in general, pretty "my way or the highway" but I still try to refrain from labeling the entire group as such.

sara said...

Kelly, you are quick! and funny!

Sue, I actually do have troubles with the vague terms "fundamentalist" & "evangelical." Growing up, I was taught that being a fundamentalist meant that one was a "back to basics" Christian who tried not to add extra-biblical teachings to his walk. Evangelical, until I learned otherwise here on the web, always meant that one took the Great Commission seriously even in the everyday. Maybe those weren't the correct theological definitions even then and I know that not how these words are used in common parlance today. I still find it so strange that "Evangelical" has become an insult. Weird.

Kelly said...

I actually do have troubles with the vague terms "fundamentalist" & "evangelical."

The problem with using terms fundamentalist and evangelical, is that they mean something different everyone, as you found. My husband once took exception to my describing his parents as evangelical, because it was a synonym to fundamentalist to him.

Just look at how often we are forced to hear about "Muslim fundamentalists" when fundamentalist is a distinctively Christian term. Sort of like describing the sharing of food offered to a Hindu idol as "eucharist."

PBS had a very good series a few years back called Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, and there is a book based on it by Randall Balmer, of the same name. I found it helpful for understanding the theological differences between fundamentalist and evangelical. My husband still thinks they're synonyms, though!

sara said...

Thanks, Kelly. I'll see if I can find the series online. I wonder if netflix would have it.