As I read No Place For Truth by David Wells I see that the state of fundamentalism is vastly different than that of evangelicalism. It’s en vogue for a young man to be critical of fundamentalism in the spirit of “self criticism.” Self criticism of this nature seems to quickly reveal what really is in the heart of its critic. This critic after a year or two will realize that he never was really a fundamentalist and and quickly disassociate himself. This self critic sees fundamentalism as a sinking ship because it has lost touch. Allow me to be the voice of dissent.
David Wells talks about the nature of the evangelical pastor. He constantly describes their ministry as therapeutic in contrast to a theological ministry. In this way he argues the evangelical church has followed step for step Liberalism. Liberalism sought to find the spirit of Christianity as a means of self gratification while it rejected its tenets. Evangelicalism has neglected theology thus finding itself in strangely familiar territory. When a pastor becomes a professional instead of a agent of truth he treads on very shaky footing. Our society has found theological wisdom to be the meanest type. Instead it has sought after the psychologist or psychiatrist for answers to life’s problems. In correlation, evangelicalism has lost its confidence in the truth of the Word of God and turned elsewhere for answers. Pastors have become second rate counselors, mere amateurs really. What once was a position of esteem has become a target of scorn. The reason? The pastor has given up his trade in modern evangelicalism. He no longer is equipped to apportion truth to illuminate the bafflement of this life.
But I find this to be less true in fundamentalism. For all its faults, theology is king. Oh fundamentalism may be mislead, out of touch, or even a little naive. But it lives by the Book. The word of God is both the question and the answer. While a critic might find exceptions, the premium, in my experience, has been on expounders of truth within fundamentalism. There is not a group who holds Scripture in such high esteem. For this I am grateful. I thank the men who have come before me who held the gospel to be precious. It is this commitment to theology that brings with it the power of the most high God.