Timothy Bonney wrote:Sandy wrote:
"Fundamentalist" is a hate word ....
Sandy it can be used as such. But it is also a theological term that had meaning and used to be a word that fundamentalists were proud of when R.A. Torrey penned "The Fundamentals." During the fundamentalist/modernist controversy it was a term embraced by its constituency.
When fundamentalism became political and divisive it took on a negative tone and those in the camp chose to move away from it. So fundamentalism isn't a "hate word" it is a name brand that its original owners want to run from because now that many know what it means and see how at least some fundamentalists act, it isn't attractive to use any longer.
And certainly since the SBC Takeover and similar kinds of moves in denominations like the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, fundamentalists have taken on the reputation of those who force their theological views on other by ecclesial political means. I can understand why fundamentalists would like to rebrand. But the term "conservative" was already taken by those to the left of fundamentalists. So now fundamentalists calling themselves conservatives has just muddies the theological waters.
In this case, it has been used as a hate word. It was never used, and never applied to Southern Baptists from within until the controversy in the 70's sprang up and the moderates had no tools or abilities to stop the re-adjustment and re-alignment of the convention when it came to providing conservative leadership.
As I said, the term "fundamentalist," or with a capital F, is a self-defined label. The doctrinal distinctiveness is still very clear among those Baptists, mostly independent, who identify themselves as "Fundamental," meaning that they adhere to a very detailed and specific list of doctrinal principles that are wedded to church practices. They believe in inerrancy as expressed specifically in verbal, plenary inspiration, adherence to Bible translations that use only Textus Receptus, churches that are completely autonomous and completely independent of anything that would identify them with ecclesiastical authority including a "convention", belief that baptismal authority can be traced back through a line of true believers to John the Baptist and Jesus and at any rate through a confessional faith. While their general list of "essentials" or "fundamentals" may seem to be something held in common with most other Baptists, examining the meaning and interpretation they put on those things clearly separates them at some distance from the vast majority of Southern Baptists.
If you want to broadly apply the term to Southern Baptists, then you must also apply it to another 20 million or so conservative Evangelicals who hold a high percentage of doctrine, theology and practice in common with Southern Baptist churches. The true, self-identified Fundamentalists never accept or go along with such comparisons, and there's a substantial difference when you examine doctrine and practice closely. Southern Baptists have, for the most part, never been fundamentalists and never will be.