Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism

Roger Olson has an interesting post on the current situation in evangelicalism and the radical change, as he sees it, from what evangelicalism was in the 70’s. We’ve batted around the nature of evangelicalism and fundamentalism here quite a bit, and I was wondering your thoughts. Do you resonate with this? If you were around in the 70’s to see this shift, do you agree with his position?

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4 thoughts on “Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism

  1. Thanks for the tip. Olson raises some interesting (if not ground-breaking) points. At the same time, I wonder whether an evangelical who was formed theologically in any era other than the late 1960s and the 1970s would have the same nostalgia for neo-evangelicalism. That mid-century movement was amazingly short-lived — some kind of strange brew of fundamentalism and mainline Calvinism. I remember reading Marsden’s excellent book on the rise of Fuller Seminary and thinking: the debates of the 1960s were really no different from our own at the beginning of the 21st century. The ‘fundamentalist’ impulse, as Olson defines it, was apparently just as influential (read: flush with money) back then as it is now.

    Perhaps the ideologies of individual institutions do, in fact, fluctuate. But I’m not so sure that evangelicalism itself has undergone so radical a paradigm shift. I suppose that at the most fundamental level, the trajectory of ‘evangelicalism’ really depends on how someone defines that term. Olson’s categorical distinction between fundamentalism and evangelicalism doesn’t really convince me, at least in historical terms.

  2. Ah, nothing like the ol’ evangelicalism debate to get the comments flowing – enough with this serious doctrine of God stuff!

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