Posted by Pastoral Musings on May 24th, 2011
Historic Fundamentalism as a movement can be traced to the late nineteenth century, though it came into full bloom in the early twentieth century.
About the time of the War Between The States evangelical Christianity was the dominant religious force in the United States. Protestant Evangelicals were greatly influenced by revivalism. At the same time, however, there was a climate that was a fairly rigorously intellectual one. Many, if not most, colleges had Christians as presidents, according to George Marsden. Many of the major colleges were still Christian in name, teaching, and practice as well.
Evangelicalism began to find itself being gradually undermined however, during this time. There was the rise of Darwinism, and the desire to accomodate the Bible to Darwinism. There was also the Biblical criticism that was the product of German scholars; a criticism that questioned the historic validity of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life.
There was, during this time, a desire to separate theology and science into totally separate fields with neither influencing the other.
All of these things form a setting in which Evangelical Christians would begin to fight for their faith and theology. Believing that the Bible was the Word of God, and as such is authoritative, Christians began to fight against the attacks upon their faith.
This, however, is simply preparatory ground for Historic Fundamentalism. In the later years of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, Fundamentalism would blossom, not into simply a reaction here and there, but into a movement that would bring with it immense changes to the Christian scene in the United States.
The index for these articles can be found on RE:Fundamentals.
- If You Wish to Speak Against Fundamentalists, Read Fundamentalists (pastoralmusings.com)
- Fundamentalism and Hate (pastoralmusings.com)