To Gundry, such a response would be "extreme? Yes, but there are times for extremes" (71).
Gundry offers a number of arguments for extreme measures:
- The dangers of accomodation (rising from nonevangelicals' recognition of evangelical scholarship) have contributed to a philosophy "of only whispering the Word instead of shouting him, speaking him boldly, as the Word himself did" (74).
- Seeker-sensitivity caters to felt needs so that "the gospel message of saving, sanctifying grace reduces to a gospel massage of physical, psychological, and social well-being that allows worldliness to flourish" (78).
- "[M]uch of the popular literature that stocks the shelves of evangelical Christian bookstores deals with present human existence . . . The present-oriented Jesus of this literature--and of most evangelical preaching, too--begins to look and sound not a little like the non-eschatological, present-oriented Jesus of the Jesus Seminar, and also not a little like the self-actualization in ancient "Gnosticism" such as formed a background for Johannine literature" (81). (In other words, the softpedaled evangelicalism of Warren and Osteen is nothing less than a neo-liberalism.) "The cost of discipleship goes on sale for a discount" (83).
- Evangelicals heeded the call to political involvement and humanitarian activity that had been set forth in Carl Henry's The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism. This led to "the proportional decrease in expenditures on saving souls for eternity, and the proportional increase of experditure on fleshing out what used to be called "The Social Gospel" (85). (This is a scathing indictment of Henry that is rare in non-fundamentalist evangelical writing. For an even more scathing indictment, see Gundry's criticism of Mark Noll in a footnote on page 89.)
- "Sermons and Bible studies began to concentrate more and more on the practicalities of Christian life in the here and now, so that today one rarely hears about heaven and hell, eternal life and eternal damnation" (87).
Like that early fundamentalism and unlike the fundamentalism which evolved in the 20s-40s, this new old fundamentalism, comparable in its neopaleoism to the new old commandment in 1 John 2:7-11; 3:11, would be culturally engaged with the world enough to be critical rather than so culturally secluded as to be mute, morally separate from the world but not spatially cloistered from it, and unashamedly expressive of historic Christian essentials but not quarrelsome over nonessentials. Such a renewed fundamentalism would take direction not only from fundamentalism at the very start of the twentieth century but also, and more importantly, from the paleofundamentalism of John the sectarian, whose Christology of the Word has Jesus come into the world (there is the engagement with it), sanctify himself (there is the separation from it), and exegete God (there is the message to it) (93-94).That, to me at least, sounds like a fundamentalism worth saving.