Modernist Fundamentalism?

Doug Wilson has a good review of Wright’s book on Scripture. Though I’ve not read Wright’s book, apparently he repeats a somewhat common argument that fundamentalism is part of the big modernist pie. Wilson writes: “To say that fundamentalism is blinkered makes perfect sense to me. But the claim that fundamentalism is modernist is a charge that (when I have seen any argumentation) proceeds on the assumption that their commitment to objective truth makes them modernist.”

I don’t know much about this discussion, but I think it’s obvious that defenders of the faith always inhale (knowingly or not) the dust stirred up by the current battle. But, I am troubled by some statements I find in the great Reformed thinkers. Schaff, in The Principle of Protestantism, is too friendly toward the German rationalism that formed him: “In this respect, the scientific rationalism of Germany, by bringing in a severe criticism and grammatico-historical exegesis, which form the natural ground and necessary condition of all theological knowledge of the Bible, has wrought clearly with purifying power in the church, the traces of which are not to be mistaken in the most orthodox works of the modern evangelical school,” (Wipf and Stock, 170). Now, Schaff was by no means a fundamentalist, but he is too comfortable with German thought for my post-Barthian sensibilities.

Charles Hodge has bothered me for some time. He seems far too cozy with modern thinking: “The Bible is to the theologian what nature is to the man of science,” and, “In the third place, the theologian must be guided by the same rules in the collection of facts, as govern the man of science,” (Systematic Theology, vol I.5.A, pg. 10, 11).

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2 thoughts on “Modernist Fundamentalism?

  1. Gregory,

    I tried emailing but it didn’t work, so here it is. I guess you can delete this post if you want to! Be my guest 🙂

    A little while ago I posted an argument address to (or perhaps better said, spawned from) a comment you made on Wilson’s Blog. If I had your email address before, I would have sent this link to you already (you linked to your blog today). Since it is too late to worry about the comment section, I’d be willing to let you respond in a post if you wanted to. Here it is:

    http://www.poohsthink.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=111

    thanks,

    Michael Metzler

  2. Gregory,

    I tried emailing but it didn’t work, so here it is. I guess you can delete this post if you want to! Be my guest 🙂

    A little while ago I posted an argument address to (or perhaps better said, spawned from) a comment you made on Wilson’s Blog. If I had your email address before, I would have sent this link to you already (you linked to your blog today). Since it is too late to worry about the comment section, I’d be willing to let you respond in a post if you wanted to. Here it is:

    http://www.poohsthink.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=111

    thanks,

    Michael Metzler

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