Thursday, June 18, 2020

Hoskyns: a vital fundamentalism

Thursday, June 18, 2020
    Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.
    —Jude 3-5 (NIV)
    Fundamentalism is widely spoken against because many assume that an adequate doctrine of evolution is available, and is the truth, and that any protest against it is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit who is speaking to us through the doctrine of evolution. Many also take it as proven that the criticism of the Bible has produced certain assured results which in fact destroy the old Christian orthodoxy, and in particular the catastrophic view of history which is the background of the Biblical imagery. It is therefore supposed that the Biblical criticism has unearthed a simple humanist or humanitarian history behind the Biblical narratives, and that the Bible, as it stands, needs a radical reinterpretation which will bring it into line with other discoveries in other branches of knowledge. Now, of course, to all who are thus persuaded, the appearance of Fundamentalism, or a return to the old Biblical language taken at its face value, is just a blasphe my against modern knowledge and a return to the pre-critical, and is therefore quite hopelessly reactionary.
    If Fundamentalism were no more than a protest against the tyranny of a rather superficial doctrine of evolution claiming the right to interpret and remould the truths of the Christian religion, and if it were no more than a criticism of the intolerable dogmatism of a very influential section of Biblical critics, it would be exceedingly difficult for us not to side wholly and convincedly with the Fundamentalists in their insistence on the necessity of a return to the Bible, and to refrain from pointing out that the Church is inevitably Fundamentalist in this sense.
    ... Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns (1884-1937), We are the Pharisees, London: SPCK, 1960, p. 65-66 (see the book)
    See also Jude 1:3-5; Acts 17:32; Rom. 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 1:19-23; 2 Cor. 10:5; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:20-21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You alone are Truth.
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