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Archive for tag Fundamentalists

Convinced or committed?

Newbigin's characterisation of the fundamental difference between "fundamentalist" and "liberal" conceptions of spiritual truth and certainty set me thinking. (Essentially that liberals tend to be mired in subjectivism and the personal impact of belief and overlook the 'out there' reality that belief corresponds to, while fundamentalists tend focus almost exclusively on the 'out there' reality, with less thought of 'owning' the truth).

One result seems to be that the children of fundamentalists grow up more convinced of the truth of the gospel than committed to it. Unfortunately truth that was known but not loved was the basis for the most obnoxious manifestation of religious barbarism the world ever saw: it was the position of the pharisees who colluded to crucify Jesus.

What's the difference? Being convinced in your mind doesn't impact the heart or behaviour. Everyone knows, intellectually speaking, they're going to die - but almost everyone lives as though they're immortal.

Or to illustrate it another way, in Prison Break Season 1, both Michael Scofield and Paul Kellerman were certain of Lincoln Burrows' innocence. But Scofield was also committed.

In a world that has rejected truth, only those who love truth will have the courage and drive needed to speak it graciously or live it hopefully.