Fundamentalism and the Darwin anniversary

I was in Oxford recently, for the latest conference of the excellent Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in Britain project (website). Focusing on the first half of the twentieth century, almost every paper was interesting and serious. Particular highlights for me included insight into the British contributors to the Fundamentals and a strikingly revisionist account of the 1909 split between the Student Christian Movement and the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, but really, there were no weak points amongst the main papers. Listening to an exchange between Martin Wellings (whose paper on Methodist Fundamentalism was also very good) and Andrew Atherstone, I finally came up with what, for me, is the perfect definition of ‘fundamentalism’:...

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The Wise Men

The Wise Men G.K. Chesterton The house from which the heavens are fed, The old strange house that is our own, Where tricks of words are never said, And Mercy is as plain as bread, And Honour is as hard as stone. Go humbly, humble are the skies, And low and large and fierce the Star; So very near the Manger lies That we may travel far. Hark! Laughter like a lion wakes To roar to the resounding plain, And the whole heaven shouts and shakes, For God Himself is born again, And we are little children walking Through the snow and rain. Step softly, under snow or rain, To find the place where men can pray; The way is all so very plain That we may lose the way. Oh, we have learnt to peer and pore On tortured puzzles from our youth, We know all labyrinthine lore, We are...

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Theological textbooks

Ben has a teaching job (congratulations, Ben!), and asked on Facebook about textbooks for introductory theology courses. I started writing a comment, which rapidly became an essay; but it seemed a question of more general interest, so I thought I’d move my thoughts here… Which is the best textbook? I can’t answer this without answering several prior questions about the nature of the course, how it fits into the wider curriculum, the identity of the students, &c., &c. I’d start by thinking about these: 1. What do I want to achieve in this course? (Not ‘learning outcomes’, although including those as well): Do I want students to have a basic understanding of the major loci of theology? Do I want them to have a detailed...

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