We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies Provides a comprehensive survey of Biblical scholarship in a variety of disciplines.

Concluding Remarks

Protestant fundamentalists regard the Bible as foundational for faith, and believe that if the Bible were found to be flawed, Christianity would collapse. They therefore also feel concerned at the prospect of more than one meaning to a biblical passage, for their foundation would then seem more like shifting sand than solid rock. While they believe they base Christian faith on Scripture, in practice they base it on reason, or a particular deductive and inductive process by which they require Scripture to pass stringent rational and empirical assessments (Harris 2000). Their position stems from an epistemological anxiety that we cannot know anything of Christ or God if we cannot first be sure that the Bible is (factually) reliable. They imagine that Scripture preceded the development of Christian orthodoxy, and that orthodox beliefs were extracted from it, whereas Scripture itself emerged out of the developing orthodoxy of the primitive and early church (cf. Witherington III 2004: 103; L. T. Johnson 1999: 601). They then treat the Bible as something it is not: a static source of inerrant data. While fundamentalist believers may experience faith more dynamically than their fundamentalism conveys, as a gift from God that defies rationalization, they adhere to an apologetic that puts faith at the mercy of investigations into apparent errors and inconsistencies in Scripture.

The concept ‘fundamentalism’ makes most sense in Protestant Christianity, where it applies to a strongly foundationalist model of biblical authority. Protestant fundamentalists rest faith upon reason and evidence, and regard the Bible as supplying the data that justify faith. In treating Scripture as foundational, they require it to be unmediated or fully verbally inspired, perspicuous, and not in need of interpretation, self-authenticating, and inerrant. Their rigidity over right belief and practice is related to the foundational structure of reasoning and a naïveté about the plain sense of Scripture: Protestant fundamentalists have seen themselves as reading doctrine and morality straight off from the Bible. Philosophical challenges to foundationalism, and developments in hermeneutical theory, undermine fundamentalist assumptions about the objective nature of reason and evidence, and of their own readings of Scripture. Post-conservative and charismatic developments both modify fundamentalism because they bring to the fore non-verbal, non-cognitive forms of interaction between God and ourselves. But fundamentalist notions of biblical authority are tenacious, and make their presence felt wherever inerrancy functions as the norm against which to gauge a person's level of conservatism. The Alpha course self-consciously reflects both charismatic and what it calls postmodern trends, and yet retains a fundamentalist doctrine of Scripture. At the same time, it does not focus its energy on defending this doctrine. Alpha provides a good indicator of the place of biblical fundamentalism amongst mainstream evangelicals at the turn of the twenty-first century.

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2021. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice