- Lust for status or academic respect
- Itch to participate in worldly activities (rock music, movies, alcohol)
- Rejection of dispensationalism
- Frustration with what fundamentalism has tolerated (appalling preaching, bad conduct, hypocritical leaders, anti-intellectualism)
- Disgust with legalism
- Impatience waiting for leadership
- Desire for mentoring
- Impulse to be part of something bigger
But there’s another factor that I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone mention publicly. I’m persuaded that it’s a significant factor, at least for some. And if it’s a legitimate basis for walking away from fundamentalism, even for one person, then it ought to provoke some serious soul-searching, particularly among people who are committed to the fundamentalist idea and who believe that the residue of the fundamentalist movement best preserves that idea.
That factor—that factor to which some people are so committed that they’ve grown disillusioned with the fundamentalist movement . . . the factor that has led them to build bridges to other partnerships, coalitions and affiliations . . . that factor is the gospel.
In other words, some young people are leaving fundamentalism for the sake of the gospel. Some young people think they’ve found a more biblically faithful articulation and practice outside the residue of the fundamentalist movement. Some young people think that people who really care about the gospel will talk more about the gospel than fundamentalism or separation (or anything else).
You might not like it. You might disagree with the facts. You might question their judgment or their priorities. But you’d be wrong to deny the reality of their convictions.
In Part 2: "The Logic of Fundamentalism: Presuppositions," I hope to explain how separatist theology creates a formidable standard for its own advocates.