Thursday, January 11, 2007

Out-Fundamentalling Fundamentalists?

Doug Smith has written a great article for SI that summarizes a Capitol Hill Baptist Church Weekender. Doug's experience closely mirrors mine from spring '05. It had such an encouraging impact on me in my love and appreciation for the church that I applied for one of the internships to which Doug refers.

Doug wrote this about CHBC and fundamentalism:
Several Weekender attendees were current or former students at fundamentalist seminaries. Several CHBC members had come from fundamentalist churches and schools. Have these individuals become liberal? Or have they only joined because they could not find a “fundamental” church in the area? I don’t know about the second question, but as for the first, the answer is no. They have not turned liberal. They were attracted by the focus on practicing the Bible as a serious community of believers at CHBC and appreciated the sound teaching and preaching. They were not against separating from false teachers, but they obviously had jettisoned some of the more extreme varieties of secondary separation. While many fundamentalists certainly would not laud CHBC as a bastion of Fundamentalism, they should admit that there is much to be thankful for there.
Doug said this quite well, but I'll take it a step further. I absolutely do think CHBC is a bastion of fundamentalism. I think it is "out-fundamentalling" most of the fundamentalist movement when it comes to foundational matters of Scripture, the gospel, local church health, discipleship, and evangelism.


Joel Tetreau said...

Oh.....strong words,

You keep that up and You will earn a B- or possibly even a C+ on your fundamentalists "Type Card."

Straight Ahead Bro!


PS - See you in Southern California!

Ben said...

Interesting you should say that, Joel. It actually points out my point of disagreement with your grading system. I know you've taken tons of heat over it, so I'm not intending to add more.

But I think the reality is that you have constructed a grading system for the fundamentalist movement, not the fundamentalist idea. A system based on the idea would put some type A's, B's and C's all in the same category, whereas some type A's would be type NF for "Not Fundamentalist."

Take that for what it's worth. You know my appreciation for you and your ministry.

Joel Tetreau said...


you disagree with me publicly....!

Didn't Thomas or Bixby send you the memo that we don't disagree with each other in front of Type A's or C's - we have to come off as if we mindlessly agree with each other on everything!

Well....there goes your baseball cap for the group photo at Shepherds!

Actually....I'm sure you're actually right on the "Mark" with that!

(Ha - "Mark" - get it? Wow - humor! Type B's have great humor Ben! You sure you want to leave all the great humor of Type Bville for Type Cville - I mean all those Type C guys are very serious! They only smile when they talk of the Swiss reformation - otherwise they have this "look" - Must come from having to memorize Puritan theology every other day :)

I still think that my linking A's with the idea of fund being a noun....B's as an adj....and C's as an action verb does hit the "idea" level vs. the movement level....

But no question....My ABC deal does have a close degree of "connection" with the interaction within the movement....

So as always, you stand brilliant!

Later bro!


Jason Wredberg said...

Well Ben... if you think things are so great there, maybe you should just move there... oh wait... nevermind.

Joel Tetreau said...


Your a funny man. Straight Ahead!


Ben said...

What a great idea, Jason. Why don't you come up here this weekend and share more ideas with me.