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There would be no need for a new evangelical movement without the liberal decline of Protestant theology during the 19th and early 20th centuries. But eminent evangelical theologian Carl Henry expected fallen humans to doubt the Bible's authority. "What concerns me more is that we have needlessly invited criticism and even ridicule, by a tendency in some quarters to parade secondary and sometimes even obscure aspects of our positions as necessary frontal phases of our view." This was The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism (1947).

Fundamentalism is still with us, though you won't hear many evangelicals talk about it. Not so with the fundamentalists, who worry about a growing number within their ranks who have wandered toward evangelicalism. A 2005 survey released on the popular fundamentalist blog SharperIron "revealed that many in the newest generation of fundamentalist leadership were still committed to fundamentalist theology but uncomfortable with some of the more extreme positions on secondary separation, association, worship music, extra-biblical standards, and other issues." A resolution approved during the 2004 annual meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International (FBFI) revealed the concern of fundamentalist leaders. They urged "young men to reject any temptation to lower biblical standards in order to gain acceptance of those in the world or among theologically accommodating Christian movements." According to Tim Baylor, reared in fundamentalism but now attending an evangelical seminary, "Militancy is at an all-time-low in Fundamentalism, and Fundamentalists are looking for someone to blame."

Who worries today's fundamentalist leaders? According to the FBFI's 2005 resolutions, "Rick Warren and ...

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October 2007

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