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Author Topic: Fundamentalism.  (Read 5782 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 13, 2007, 08:10:40 PM »

Despite what most people think, Islam was one of the last religions in which Fundamentalism began to be practiced.
Fundamentalism began in the US and Britain  early last century among Protestant Christians with the publication of the Conservative Protestant work: "The Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth." This led Baptist Pastor William Bell Riley to found the World Christian Fundamentals Association. This book, and this organiseation are the origins of the word "Fundamentalism".

So what is Fundamentalism?

Some have argued (even on this forum) that Christianity is, by nature, Fundamentalist. Personally, I disagree, and I think the difference is in the understanding of what Fundamentalism is.
Personally, I think Fundamentalism, in any religion, has:
1) a "black and white" worldview which does not allow for indiviual case merits to be explored.
2) a "them and us" worldview which has the doctrine "extra ecclesia nulla salus" as an absolute truth.
3) tends to be tied in with Nationalism and Politics.
4) will adhere to "doctrinal purity" at any cost, even of human dignity.
5) any alternative doctrine is viewed as an assault on the Fundamentalist's Faith, and cannot, therefore, be tolerated or co-existed with.

What are your thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2007, 08:48:02 PM »

I agree with you here, George. IMO Fundamentalism is not about particular doctrines (or "fundamentals"), but about a mindset.  I think it usually starts out of a sincere wish to be correct about something important, but eventually the pursuit to be correct (and "share" your correct answers) distorts everything in life, regardless of the particular religion, faith or philosophy the person holds to.
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2007, 09:29:26 PM »

So what is Fundamentalism?

Some have argued (even on this forum) that Christianity is, by nature, Fundamentalist. Personally, I disagree, and I think the difference is in the understanding of what Fundamentalism is.
Personally, I think Fundamentalism, in any religion, has:
1) a "black and white" worldview which does not allow for indiviual case merits to be explored.
2) a "them and us" worldview which has the doctrine "extra ecclesia nulla salus" as an absolute truth.
3) tends to be tied in with Nationalism and Politics.
4) will adhere to "doctrinal purity" at any cost, even of human dignity.
5) any alternative doctrine is viewed as an assault on the Fundamentalist's Faith, and cannot, therefore, be tolerated or co-existed with.

What are your thoughts?

Having debated a Fundamentalist on the MSN discussion boards several months ago, I would have to say the above description applies very closely to how he presented himself in our debates.  I really had to grill him more than once about how he was so hellbent on preserving his tradition of "correct" doctrine that he had totally put aside Christ's command that he love his neighbor.  The gory pics of aborted babies to advance his militantly pro-life agenda...  Him warning other posters that I was a "wolf out to devour the flock" because of my Orthodox beliefs...  UGH! Tongue  I got to wondering sometimes if he was tied to that Kansas church that threatened to picket the funerals of those Amish killed in their recent schoolhouse massacre.
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2007, 09:47:47 PM »

I got to wondering sometimes if he was tied to that Kansas church that threatened to picket the funerals of those Amish killed in their recent schoolhouse massacre.

Westboro Baptist
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 09:55:29 PM »

The definition of Fundamentalism must include the idea of Fundamentals - that there are fundamental principles that must be returned to, rigidly adhered to, and any deviation from those principles not tolerated. That is the historic and accepted definition of fundamentalism. As such, it is too often misapplied to other groups that are not fundamentalist (ie, those who don't base their belief upon abstract ideas or 'principles', those who can tolerate that others in the world don't agree - which doesn't mean they believe those people will be 'saved', but rather they don't plan violence against those who disagree.) Many researchers also add that fundamentalism has the characteristics of being against modern technology, against individual (or corporate) autonomy,, or the modern world. They all have a 'sacred past time' they want to return to.
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2007, 09:58:40 PM »

Westboro Baptist

It is likely that the person was not a member of Westboro Baptist as they are few in number, being mostly members of Fred Phelps family with a few others.  Please note that the group is not a member of any kind of real Baptist organization, that Phelps has some ummm peculiar views on the Bible, God, and Christian belief in general.  

They were also threatening to picket the funerals of people killed in the Minneapolis bridge collapse and they often threaten to or do picket the funerals of military killed in action as well as homosexual persons. (That is their particular bug-bear).

To be blunt, they seem to go or threaten to go to any funeral that will give them publicity.  If people agree with them, they are Right.  If people disagree with them then they are being persecuted which means they are Right as well.  

It makes me want to quote the Gospels: "Truly I tell you, they have received their reward."  Sad

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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2007, 09:59:47 PM »

Many researchers also add that fundamentalism has the characteristics of being against modern technology, against individual (or corporate) autonomy,, or the modern world. They all have a 'sacred past time' they want to return to.

Which, I'm sorry, reminds me of Mr. Alden of recent posting memory.   Undecided

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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2007, 10:09:07 PM »

The definition of Fundamentalism must include the idea of Fundamentals - that there are fundamental principles that must be returned to, rigidly adhered to, and any deviation from those principles not tolerated.
True, but I don't think that can be the whole definition. The Oecumenical Councils clarified the fundamental principles of orthodox Christianity, and any deviation from these principles were deemed heresy and not tolerated in the Church. By that definition, Christianity is, by nature, Fundamentalist.
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2007, 10:24:13 PM »

True, but I don't think that can be the whole definition. The Oecumenical Councils clarified the fundamental principles of orthodox Christianity, and any deviation from these principles were deemed heresy and not tolerated in the Church. By that definition, Christianity is, by nature, Fundamentalist.

I'd have to disagree - the Councils defined dogma, and specific guidance for bishops in the way of canons (standards), but not principles. Principles are a part of philosophy, and not of religion normally. Orthodoxy (and Catholicism) are not organized around principles. Protestantism, to one degree or another, is often. At least, as we were catechized - there is no 'theory' or Orthodoxy, no set of fundamental principles that structures our approach to belief. Now, I don't doubt that some Orthodox have imported 'principles' (whether from politics, philosophical schools, etc.) - but, they aren't binding on the whole of the Church, nor are those 'principles' the Church itself, nor the Church's Faith. Which does characterize Fundamentalists in Orthodoxy (whether Liberal Fundamentalists, or Conservative Fundamentalists) - they're operating on assumptions that don't belong to the whole, and often on things they learned from the outside (other faiths, Theosophy, Marxism, Capitalism, party politics, nationalist movements, etc.)
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2007, 03:41:18 AM »

^I see what you mean now. You're differentiating between "Dogma" and "principles".
Historically though, the twelve volumes of "The Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth" from which the word "Fundamentalism" derives also dealt only with dogma (specifically, Protestant dogma). And it seems to me that principles themselves are derived from dogma. For example, if you hold "extra ecclessia nulla salus" to be dogma, this directly affects and shapes the principles with which you interact with the rest of the world.
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2007, 07:17:47 AM »

I think fundamentalism is a simple uncluttered faith of some who are uncomfortable with abstraction. Individuals can be kindly and humble or deluded, proud misanthropes (or in tension between these two tendencies).
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2007, 06:20:49 PM »

^I see what you mean now. You're differentiating between "Dogma" and "principles".
Historically though, the twelve volumes of "The Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth" from which the word "Fundamentalism" derives also dealt only with dogma (specifically, Protestant dogma). And it seems to me that principles themselves are derived from dogma. For example, if you hold "extra ecclessia nulla salus" to be dogma, this directly affects and shapes the principles with which you interact with the rest of the world.

Not really - the principles are assumptions that the fundamentalist holds before he defines what he will accept as dogma. Such as sola scriptura, which in itself does not flow from any dogma of the Church, but from some a priori assumptions. Principles, then, come from the philosophy one holds, and affect how one accepts (or changes) dogma. Principles which have crept into Orthodoxy which are not dogma include 'rite follows Patriarchate', 'there is no Orthodoxy without Hellenism', 'living tradition', 'we must change with the times', and other ideas which have not been held by the Church at all times, have not been defined by the Church, but which many within Orthodoxy assume as being held by all Orthodox. Having said that, one cannot escape fundamentalism if one cannot escape being ruled by principles rather than dogma. (Having said that - extra ecclessia nulla salus is not a 'principle', and does not derive from philosophy, but from dogma - it is also an idea unknown to Fundamentalists, as Fundamentalists are contrary to the idea of ecclessia as being something defined, visible, or beyond an individual and his interaction with the Bible (ie, 'soul competency'.)
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2007, 07:09:13 PM »

Having said that - extra ecclessia nulla salus is not a 'principle', and does not derive from philosophy, but from dogma - it is also an idea unknown to Fundamentalists, as Fundamentalists are contrary to the idea of ecclessia as being something defined, visible, or beyond an individual and his interaction with the Bible (ie, 'soul competency'.)
You seem to be limiting Fundamentalism to Protestant Evangelical Fundamentalism. There are Roman Catholic and Orthodox Fundamentalists also. My use of "Extra Ecclessia Nulla Salus" refers to the belief that no one outside my community of Faith (whether Evangelical, Islam, Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist) can possibly be saved or attain Nirvana etc.
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2007, 08:31:58 PM »

You seem to be limiting Fundamentalism to Protestant Evangelical Fundamentalism. There are Roman Catholic and Orthodox Fundamentalists also. My use of "Extra Ecclessia Nulla Salus" refers to the belief that no one outside my community of Faith (whether Evangelical, Islam, Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist) can possibly be saved or attain Nirvana etc.

I think you misunderstand - Fundamentalism is from applying philosophical principles/assumptions to religion, rather than the assumptions coming from the dogma of the religion. The idea of extra ecclessia nulla salus, however, is not fundamentalism, nor a principle - that's just dogma, and comes from the dogmatic understanding that extra Christus nulla salus. It simply follows that salvation is only inside the Church, if the Church is the Body and Kingdom of Jesus Christ. That's not a 'fundamental principle'. 

As for Orthodox Fundamentalism - it seems to come in a few varieties, all being subjection of Orthodoxy to outside principles (Liberalism, Secularism, Puritanism, Perennialist Theosophy, etc.) In any case, extra ecclessia nulla salus does not reflect any sort of Orthodox Fundamentalism (though some Orthodox Fundamentalists might agree to that doctrine, they don't do it on the basis of their grand theories or fundamental principles.)

Added: I think I'm actually interpreting it a little broader, though I'm basing my view on an academic approach to fundamentalism in religions (go figure, I'm in Religious Studies.) Probably the simplest way to put it, is that that one is practicing fundamentalism when base their inclusion/exclusion based upon an 'ism' rather than their Faith itself. Or, another way to define it - fundamentalism is the subsumation of Faith into Ideology. A hint in that we call it FundamentalISM (the following of Fundamentals.) There are several popular views, and one seems to be that of men in suits, or maybe another of men in beards. However, being traditional doesn't mean that one is traditionalist (one is holistic, the other is ideology.) I suppose then, that what one is left with is either praciticing 'Mere Christianity' (ie, 'Mere Orthodoxy', sort of the 'Russell Kirk' of religion, simply traditional holistic faith in community), or practicing one of a myriad forms of Fundamentalism, wherein the Fundamental Principles can be over the whole range of human ideologies. Gavey?
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2007, 11:18:30 PM »

I think you misunderstand - Fundamentalism is from applying philosophical principles/assumptions to religion, rather than the assumptions coming from the dogma of the religion. The idea of extra ecclessia nulla salus, however, is not fundamentalism, nor a principle - that's just dogma, and comes from the dogmatic understanding that extra Christus nulla salus. It simply follows that salvation is only inside the Church, if the Church is the Body and Kingdom of Jesus Christ. That's not a 'fundamental principle'. 

Extra Christus nulla salus is a 'fundamental principle' to you, as is the belief that the Church preaches the truth, or that tradition holds authority. Any belief is based on fundamental principles behind it, this alone is not sufficient to define fundamentalism. Fundamentalism consists of absolutizing these principles, the fundamentalist is one who insists on the absolute truth of their own religion without even admitting (on a psychological level) to the possibility of being wrong. The fundamentalist is one who places the ideals of their religion above all else, even to the detriment of family, friends, and neighbour. And the fundamentalist is exclusionary, sure of his own correctness and judging his neighbour based on his beliefs...the standard that ozgeorge put forth to define fundamentalism seems most reasonable:

You seem to be limiting Fundamentalism to Protestant Evangelical Fundamentalism. There are Roman Catholic and Orthodox Fundamentalists also. My use of "Extra Ecclessia Nulla Salus" refers to the belief that no one outside my community of Faith (whether Evangelical, Islam, Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist) can possibly be saved or attain Nirvana etc.

This belief, more so than any other, is common amongst all fundamentalists and is generally the defining line between the mainstream and fundamentalists of a given religion.
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2007, 11:31:34 PM »

Some food for thought:

   
from the Compact Oxford English Dictionary
 
fundamental
  • adjective of or serving as a foundation or core; of central importance.
  • noun a central or primary rule or principle.

principle
  • noun 1 a fundamental truth or proposition serving as the foundation for belief or action.


According to these definitions, which I--and I think many people--follow, even our dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation of the Word count as 'fundamental principles' of our faith.


I think you misunderstand - Fundamentalism is from applying philosophical principles/assumptions to religion, rather than the assumptions coming from the dogma of the religion. The idea of extra ecclessia nulla salus, however, is not fundamentalism, nor a principle - that's just dogma, and comes from the dogmatic understanding that extra Christus nulla salus. It simply follows that salvation is only inside the Church, if the Church is the Body and Kingdom of Jesus Christ. That's not a 'fundamental principle'.
By what I believe to be the prevailing understanding defined above, extra Christus nulla salus is a fundamental principle precisely because it IS a dogma, and that's what a dogma is: a truth that is foundational to our faith, a fundamental principle.

Quote
As for Orthodox Fundamentalism - it seems to come in a few varieties, all being subjection of Orthodoxy to outside principles (Liberalism, Secularism, Puritanism, Perennialist Theosophy, etc.) In any case, extra ecclessia nulla salus does not reflect any sort of Orthodox Fundamentalism (though some Orthodox Fundamentalists might agree to that doctrine, they don't do it on the basis of their grand theories or fundamental principles.)
Adherence to fundamental principles per se does not make one a fundamentalist; it just makes one orthodox.  Fundamentalism is itself a principle outside of a dogmatic tradition to which even the dogmatic tradition is subjected.

Quote
Added: I think I'm actually interpreting it a little broader, though I'm basing my view on an academic approach to fundamentalism in religions (go figure, I'm in Religious Studies.) Probably the simplest way to put it, is that that one is practicing fundamentalism when base their inclusion/exclusion based upon an 'ism' rather than their Faith itself. Or, another way to define it - fundamentalism is the subsumation of Faith into Ideology. A hint in that we call it FundamentalISM (the following of Fundamentals.) There are several popular views, and one seems to be that of men in suits, or maybe another of men in beards. However, being traditional doesn't mean that one is traditionalist (one is holistic, the other is ideology.) I suppose then, that what one is left with is either praciticing 'Mere Christianity' (ie, 'Mere Orthodoxy', sort of the 'Russell Kirk' of religion, simply traditional holistic faith in community), or practicing one of a myriad forms of Fundamentalism, wherein the Fundamental Principles can be over the whole range of human ideologies. Gavey?
Though I disagree with your definition of 'fundamental principle', I agree with your definition of 'fundamentalism' as "subsumation of Faith into Ideology" in that fundamentalism IS the ideology.  In a sense, fundamentalism is such strong adherence to fundamental principles (as I have defined them above) that little to nothing else matters.
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2007, 11:51:11 PM »

Fundamentalism is essentially tribalism.

We can de-humanize and mistreat the "out-group" any way we please because they are the enemy and they are damned. Only the "in-group" counts, but it must be tightly regulated and legislated and overseen and directed.

I am still damaged from a childhood upbringing in a fundamentalist church. Fortunately for me, my parents were moving away from it in my early adolescence and moved toward a kinder, more tolerant conservative evangelicalism (which still left me with a lot of baggage, but was not as damaging as what my brother and sister went through in the fundamentalist church)
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2007, 12:31:21 AM »

Extra Christus nulla salus is a 'fundamental principle' to you, as is the belief that the Church preaches the truth, or that tradition holds authority.

Speak for yourself - I'm not an ideologue. I don't appreciate the ad hominem either, and have reported it.


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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2007, 12:48:14 AM »

Well, like BrotherAidan said - while I've nothing against Tribal societies, Tribalism or Neo-Tribalism is inherently Fundamentalist.

Some food for thought: ...

According to these definitions, which I--and I think many people--follow, even our dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation of the Word count as 'fundamental principles' of our faith.

I would argue that while as Protestants we may have held them as 'fundamental principles', for Orthodoxy they cannot be. This has to do with the nature of Revelation. A Protestant arrives at the fundamental principles through a synthetic process: text and analysis. For him, that is the formation of 'fundamental principles'. Orthodoxy, however, has for its basis revelation, which cannot be quantified as 'principles'. 'Principles' are rather what some religious groups would see out of 'Jesus the Teacher' (to which I'll refer to CS Lewis argument on that matter.)

Why dogma is not a principle, is that dogma is not arrived at by philosophical processes (empirical, etc.) Neither is it based on unspoken or unrealized assumptions. Orthodox Christianity isn't based on principles, as it is not a philosophy (in fact, one may hold any number of philosophies, and be an Orthodox Christian) - it is based on revelation, and relation with a person (the King of Heaven) through the Ecclesia. As I don't hold to the idea of Christianity being a Philosophy, or man-made, I don't hold to the idea that Christianity is based on a set of foundational propositions or assumptions, though I do believe it has basis on a continued common human experience of God.

Quote
Adherence to fundamental principles per se does not make one a fundamentalist; it just makes one orthodox.  Fundamentalism is itself a principle outside of a dogmatic tradition to which even the dogmatic tradition is subjected.

Agreed, if we mean 'orthodox' in the sense which the same Oxford dictionary records common usage of the term. Same way being traditional does not make one Traditionalist, nor being liberal makes one a follower of Liberalism.

Quote
Though I disagree with your definition of 'fundamental principle', I agree with your definition of 'fundamentalism' as "subsumation of Faith into Ideology" in that fundamentalism IS the ideology.  In a sense, fundamentalism is such strong adherence to fundamental principles (as I have defined them above) that little to nothing else matters.

Your dissenting opinion noted, I can agree with that expression. It is that 'twice the son of hell' that Our Lord warned the Pharisees were making of their converts. I should note that my definition of 'fundamental principles' is tied to the usage of the term in Philosophy, as 'first principles', ie 'axioms' or 'postulates'.
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2007, 12:55:48 AM »

Your dissenting opinion noted, I can agree with that expression. It is that 'twice the son of hell' that Our Lord warned the Pharisees were making of their converts. I should note that my definition of 'fundamental principles' is tied to the usage of the term in Philosophy, as 'first principles', ie 'axioms' or 'postulates'.
Fair enough.  I have no questions about the basis of your definitions, though I disagree with the end result, working from a different premise as I do.  When it comes to knowing the discipline of philosophy, I have to defer to you, for I've never really studied the subject as you appear to have done.
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2007, 01:01:34 AM »

Speak for yourself - I'm not an ideologue. I don't appreciate the ad hominem either, and have reported it.

Ad hominem? I must have missed that part. You said:

Quote
The idea of extra ecclessia nulla salus, however, is not fundamentalism, nor a principle - that's just dogma, and comes from the dogmatic understanding that extra Christus nulla salus.

That is to say that a certain dogma is derived from a certain 'understanding' or principle. Did I misunderstand you, and you actually reject the principle 'extra Christus nulla salus'? Or perhaps my misunderstanding was with one of the other points? Do you reject the principles that 'the Church preaches the truth' or that 'tradition holds authority'? If so, I apologize for the assumption I made, but considering your posts, it's hardly unfounded.

If you are offended by my conclusions, based on your posts, that you hold to these principles, then I apologize, but all you really need to do is correct me and make it clear that you reject them.

Perhaps you can be more specific as to how my post offended you.
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2007, 01:16:33 AM »

When it comes to knowing the discipline of philosophy, I have to defer to you, for I've never really studied the subject as you appear to have done.

No, tis only an appearance - I'm no philosopher, and not so well read on the subject (though I would say I tend to intuit as an Ultra-Realist/Christian Neo-Platonist, but was raised with thinking more after Kant - which I long since rejected, not only from an aversion to the Schoolmen, but to the divisiveness of Political/Philosophical sectarianism.) Though I'm trying to educate myself - there are whole areas of Philosophy I've discovered I was unaware of due to negligence. I've never really cared for philosophy itself. My argument mostly comes from language use, and an understanding of how we arrived at truth while Protestants, and how that differs from Truth in Orthodoxy.

GiC -
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Perhaps you can be more specific as to how my post offended you.

Refer back to your post: "Extra Christus nulla salus is a 'fundamental principle' to you.." Please don't tell me what I believe, or how I think. I've complained about this numerous times, as it is extremely rude (and you should know, if you claim to be Southern!) I don't try to tell anyone else what they really think - they and God alone know what they think, and it is up to them to elucidate their own thoughts or beliefs. I don't play Schoolmarm, and I don't need one either. It is offensive as I *don't* hold to fundamental principles (which, I must admit to, means I am an unprincipled man - meaning, I have no assumptions or theories from any ideology on which I base my life or thought. You might want to review how you've responded to my posts back since when I became active to see what I mean.) While I might hold to extra Ecclesia nulla salus as both doctrine and dogma, I do not do so as a *principle*, nor as an a priori assumption. Nor does it stand on its own as a proposition, but is a part of the whole Revelation of Jesus Christ. I do not, of course, nit-pick about how all that works either (I'll leave that to the Thomists.)
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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2007, 01:33:46 AM »

Refer back to your post: "Extra Christus nulla salus is a 'fundamental principle' to you.." Please don't tell me what I believe, or how I think. I've complained about this numerous times, as it is extremely rude (and you should know, if you claim to be Southern!)

I don't claim to be Southern, many of my ancestors were, but I am a Westerner; defined more by liberty and straightforwardness than custom and manners.

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I don't try to tell anyone else what they really think - they and God alone know what they think, and it is up to them to elucidate their own thoughts or beliefs. I don't play Schoolmarm, and I don't need one either. It is offensive as I *don't* hold to fundamental principles (which, I must admit to, means I am an unprincipled man - meaning, I have no assumptions or theories from any ideology on which I base my life or thought. You might want to review how you've responded to my posts back since when I became active to see what I mean.)

So it would seem to me that your objection is that your posts and the positions you take in them should not be able to be used in the context of a debate? I am not attacking you personally, I am merely attacking the consistency of your arguments. As far as the assumptions you personally hold to, you are correct I cannot know them, but I can see the principles that underlay the arguments and positions you put forward on this board and it is those I address, as the fair game they are, in the context of debate.

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While I might hold to extra Ecclesia nulla salus as both doctrine and dogma, I do not do so as a *principle*, nor as an a priori assumption. Nor does it stand on its own as a proposition, but is a part of the whole Revelation of Jesus Christ. I do not, of course, nit-pick about how all that works either (I'll leave that to the Thomists.)

Here you claim at first that you reject principles (by trying to redefine 'principle' to be fundamentally different from 'dogma'), but then you justify your dogmas (which you claim are not principles) by pointing to another principle: the truth of the Revelation of Christ. Which it would seem safe to assume you hold, since you just stated that you hold to a doctrine and dogma derived from this principle, and even cite this principle as a justification for these beliefs.

Pointing out inconsistancies in your argument hardly qualifies as an ad hominem attack. I'm not saying that you are an inherently irrational person, I'm simply saying that this particular argument is flawed.
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2007, 02:19:16 AM »

I am not attacking you personally, I am merely attacking the consistency of your arguments.

No - accusations (explicit and implicit) of being Fundamentalist, Male Chauvanist, and a host of other controversial labels are personal attacks. As for the 'consistency', consistency is a characteristic of first principles. Of course it won't look consistent if one approaches Revelation as if it is Philosophy. Again, I believe you've misread me (either not understanding, or what seems more likely - purposely misreading for the purpose of 'provoking an emotional response', which I would call 'baiting' - or, on the forums I've moderated -  'trolling'.)

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... by pointing to another principle: the truth of the Revelation of Christ. Which it would seem safe to assume you hold, since you just stated that you hold to a doctrine and dogma derived from this principle, and even cite this principle as a justification for these beliefs.


The Revelation of Jesus Christ isn't a principle - it is a historical event, an ontological reality, a human experience that has been handed down as well as continuously experienced. So, no - it doesn't 'derive from this principle', and I didn't cite any such 'principle'. That's just trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole (it isn't going to go.) There are religions that hold those as 'principles', but then again - they tend to be more philosophical systems than true religion, and text-derived rather than experiential and relational. I don't hold dogma or doctrine to be 'principles' (I wasn't taught to as Orthodox, nor was I taught to as a Pentecostal.)

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I'm not saying that you are an inherently irrational person, I'm simply saying that this particular argument is flawed.

It isn't flawed, but I suppose it would seem that way when approached on flawed premises. If you would read what I wrote according to my intentions, rather than reading into it what one wants to see, then there might be some engagement in the discussion. Otherwise, its all just talking past me (with a fair bit of trying to 'pin the Fundie tag on X'.)  Noting - if you might be a proponent of Deconstructionism, and think that a text is independent of its author, and that meaning lies entirely within the reader. I don't, of course, and won't expect any sort of understanding from someone who won't try to understand my writing as communication: an attempt to transmit a precise idea with the goal of that same idea being received by other parties.
 Warned for ad hominem, specifically accusing other poster of trolling.
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2007, 02:27:13 AM »

Aristibule, I'm still not clear how you are making the distinction between dogma and principles. Perhaps if you could answer GiC's question to you:
Ad hominem? I must have missed that part. You said:
The idea of extra ecclessia nulla salus, however, is not fundamentalism, nor a principle - that's just dogma, and comes from the dogmatic understanding that extra Christus nulla salus.
That is to say that a certain dogma is derived from a certain 'understanding' or principle. Did I misunderstand you, and you actually reject the principle 'extra Christus nulla salus'? Or perhaps my misunderstanding was with one of the other points? Do you reject the principles that 'the Church preaches the truth' or that 'tradition holds authority'? If so, I apologize for the assumption I made, but considering your posts, it's hardly unfounded.

No - accusations (explicit and implicit) of being Fundamentalist, Male Chauvanist, and a host of other controversial labels are personal attacks. As for the 'consistency', consistency is a characteristic of first principles. Of course it won't look consistent if one approaches Revelation as if it is Philosophy. Again, I believe you've misread me (either not understanding, or what seems more likely - purposely misreading for the purpose of 'provoking an emotional response', which I would call 'baiting' - or, on the forums I've moderated -  'trolling'.)
The accusation of "trolling" is an ad hominem. Remember how you accused Deacon Lance of it and it turned out you were wrong? Please allow the possibility that you may be wrong again.
 
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2007, 02:38:17 AM »

No - accusations (explicit and implicit) of being Fundamentalist, Male Chauvanist, and a host of other controversial labels are personal attacks. As for the 'consistency', consistency is a characteristic of first principles. Of course it won't look consistent if one approaches Revelation as if it is Philosophy. Again, I believe you've misread me (either not understanding, or what seems more likely - purposely misreading for the purpose of 'provoking an emotional response', which I would call 'baiting' - or, on the forums I've moderated -  'trolling'.)

All religion, be it from revelation or otherwise, either derives from a philosophy, is a philosophy, or is the source of a philosophy that must logically follow, and must rationally be approached in that manner. When we're objectively defining terms, we can't have prejudice towards or against a given system of beliefs.

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The Revelation of Jesus Christ isn't a principle - it is a historical event, an ontological reality, a human experience that has been handed down as well as continuously experienced. So, no - it doesn't 'derive from this principle', and I didn't cite any such 'principle'. That's just trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole (it isn't going to go.) There are religions that hold those as 'principles', but then again - they tend to be more philosophical systems than true religion, and text-derived rather than experiential and relational. I don't hold dogma or doctrine to be 'principles' (I wasn't taught to as Orthodox, nor was I taught to as a Pentecostal.)

This argument seems to be along the lines of what one hears from the 'Christianity is not a Religion, it's a relationship' crowd. It's the creation of a double standard, exempting oneself from the logical conclusions of their rhetoric. The OP dealt with the issue of fundamentalism, the discussion continued to objectively define fundamentalism. You then attempted to construct a definition that would somehow exempt Christianity (as properly practiced in your eyes) from that definition by essentially arguing that Christianity is special and thereby exempt from the criticism appropriate to all other religions. An objective definition cannot be partial to a given religion...radical mohammedans could argue that they do not act on principles but revelations to the prophet mohammed written in the Koran which command them to kill infidels, thus they strap dynamite to their chests and blow themselves up in crowed marketplaces, on account of a divine revelation. So are these people too not fundamentalists? Well, if you can't include these people in the definition of fundamentalism, what's the purpose of your definition? Since it fails to include those who are considered fundamentalists by the common usage of the term in society. Or would you argue that that is different because this revelation is not true? If so, your definition is biased and subjective.

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It isn't flawed, but I suppose it would seem that way when approached on flawed premises. If you would read what I wrote according to my intentions, rather than reading into it what one wants to see, then there might be some engagement in the discussion. Otherwise, its all just talking past me (with a fair bit of trying to 'pin the Fundie tag on X'.)  Noting - if you might be a proponent of Deconstructionism, and think that a text is independent of its author, and that meaning lies entirely within the reader. I don't, of course, and won't expect any sort of understanding from someone who won't try to understand my writing as communication: an attempt to transmit a precise idea with the goal of that same idea being received by other parties.

The fact that your argument was unclear and vague at times is part of my criticism, as well as the fact that it did not seem to be objectively applied. Now Ozgeorge's defining of fundamentalism as a belief in exclusive salvation was clear, quite in line with the common understanding of the term fundamentalism, and could be objectively applied across all religions.
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2007, 03:04:07 AM »

Aristibule, I'm still not clear how you are making the distinction between dogma and principles. Perhaps if you could answer GiC's question to you:...
 Remember how you accused Deacon Lance of it and it turned out you were wrong? Please allow the possibility that you may be wrong again.

Oz, I already answered GiC's question - one can lead a horse to water, etc. And, the second part - that is not quite how it went. Deacon Lance accused us, and turned out it was wrong - he apologized for his assumption, and I gladly accepted, and we continued with gentlemanly discussion. I wasn't wrong in that case.

All religion, be it from revelation or otherwise, either derives from a philosophy, is a philosophy, or is the source of a philosophy that must logically follow, and must rationally be approached in that manner. When we're objectively defining terms, we can't have prejudice towards or against a given system of beliefs.

I disagree, and under that definition then do not have 'religion'. That isn't the derivation, existence, source or approach of the Faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Is your assertion what they teach at Holy Cross?

Quote
This argument seems to be along the lines of what one hears from the 'Christianity is not a Religion, it's a relationship' crowd. It's the creation of a double standard, exempting oneself from the logical conclusions of their rhetoric. The OP dealt with the issue of fundamentalism, the discussion continued to objectively define fundamentalism. You then attempted to construct a definition that would somehow exempt Christianity (as properly practiced in your eyes) from that definition by essentially arguing that Christianity is special and thereby exempt from the criticism appropriate to all other religions.

Yup, that's my crowd - and Orthodox Christianity is special. And, no - I didn't 'attempt to construct' anything. Of course, much of Christianity *is* Fundamentalist, precisely because it attempts to conform to your first assertion of "all religion ... derives from philosophy, et al." I suppose it is because my own background differs fairly with your own (ie, being raised in traditional folk societies, close contact with Judaism, etc.) My assertion, of course, is that while there are various types of philosophies one may hold and be Orthodox, Orthodoxy itself is not a philosphy, nor dependent on philosphy. The definition of Fundamentalism, however, requires philosophy - and strict adherence to the assumptions that a philosophy requires.

Quote
So are these people too not fundamentalists? Well, if you can't include these people in the definition of fundamentalism, what's the purpose of your definition? Since it fails to include those who are considered fundamentalists by the common usage of the term in society. Or would you argue that that is different because this revelation is not true? If so, your definition is biased and subjective.

No, I would argue that my defintion is the common usage, and yours is one of several 'popular definitions' that is not in the majority. I would also argue that Wahabism does meet the definition of Fundamentalism, as it has first principles that it consistently adheres to, and a foundation in a political philosophy (which many Muslims find contrary to Islam.)

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The fact that your argument was unclear and vague at times is part of my criticism, as well as the fact that it did not seem to be objectively applied.

I apologize for being unclear and vague, as my language isn't 'normative' for the usual level of public discourse these days - Dr. David Weeks of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital wrote some on linguistic patterns common to my type after a study he did through the '80s and early 90s. I beg to differ with your assertion of 'fact', however (especially as 'fact' and 'seem' are concepts that ill-fit being used in the same phrase - one has a pretense of objectivity, the other the odour of subjectivity.)
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« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2007, 03:09:20 AM »

I wasn't wrong in that case.
So were you correct in accusing Deacon Lance of being a troll, as you are now accusing GiC in this thread?
Just yes or no.
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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2007, 03:14:38 AM »

So were you correct in accusing Deacon Lance of being a troll, as you are now accusing GiC in this thread?
Just yes or no.

Look, I'm not interested in participating in an argument with you. I will state that baiting to provoke an argument (as in the false accusation of WRO, or in continued explicit and/or implicit labeling of people as being Fundamentalists/Male Chauvanists/etc. for being ROCOR, or following the Traditions of the Church, is indeed ad hominem - and trolling, especially where the participant is avowed to a method of 'provoking an emotional response'.) So, for the rest of this thread I'll not be responding (respectfully, to OzGeorge), as you seem to be taking it personally.
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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2007, 03:20:52 AM »

you seem to be taking it personally.
No, not really, but I am going to measure you with the yardstick you measured GiC. You reported him for a percieved mplicit ad hominem, and I told you that the accusation of trolling is indeed an ad hominem. Since you will not retract your ad hominem accusing GiC of trolling, you are nbow on a warning.
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« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2007, 11:06:45 AM »

You seem to be limiting Fundamentalism to Protestant Evangelical Fundamentalism. There are Roman Catholic and Orthodox Fundamentalists also. My use of "Extra Ecclessia Nulla Salus" refers to the belief that no one outside my community of Faith (whether Evangelical, Islam, Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist) can possibly be saved or attain Nirvana etc.


Yeah, we call it Feenyism, and its adherents Feenyites, though I would not totally equate them with Protestant fundamentalists.

-

In terms of Christianity as a philosophy, I believe it is both a relationship and a philosophy. There is clearly a basic Christian philosophy, if you strip away all the baggage that the word has acquired. I certainly could not claim otherwise. I guess my starting principle is both the reality of the Word and the truth of Christian philosophy. But the philosophy exists for the sake of the relationship.

I am reminded of CS Lewis's analogy about a mariner at sea and his map.
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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2007, 06:09:50 PM »

I would not totally equate them with Protestant fundamentalists.
But do you still consider the Feenyites to be Fundamentalists? If not, then what distinction do you make between them and Protestant Fundamentalists which stops the Feenyites being considered Fundamentalists?
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« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2007, 11:31:43 AM »

But do you still consider the Feenyites to be Fundamentalists? If not, then what distinction do you make between them and Protestant Fundamentalists which stops the Feenyites being considered Fundamentalists?

Of course they are fundamentalists---I was just saying that the dynamics are not quite the same. Sorry---just the historian in me always careful not to make one-to-one analogies.
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« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2007, 02:58:05 PM »

Something that has occurred to me is that while the original meaning of the word "fundamentalist" referred to a specific time and idea with the book and all, now the word itself has a new meaning as a kind of slur.  It is applied to others whom the speaker/writer considers to be hmmm 'rigid' 'locked in', who are sure that they have the Only Right Way, can speak for God and other things.  The word is now a perjorative, a label.

But I would say that there is a common pattern of behaviour/action that does go along with the list and that it is found in many different groups/Churches/Religions

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« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2007, 05:53:09 PM »

the word itself has a new meaning as a kind of slur. 
I think that depends how it is used. I have spoken online with Orthodox, and Protestant Fundamentalists who are quite happy to call themselves Fundamentalists because they see it as adhering to the Fundamentals of their Faith, whereas (in their view) I have compromised them.
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« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2007, 01:01:23 AM »

I think that depends how it is used. I have spoken online with Orthodox, and Protestant Fundamentalists who are quite happy to call themselves Fundamentalists because they see it as adhering to the Fundamentals of their Faith, whereas (in their view) I have compromised them.

Interesting.  So there are EO who use the word "fundamentalist" to refer to themselves as well as Protestants?  This is intriguing that the word can be both a perjorative with tones of being threatened as well as a name to be claimed.  hmm

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« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2007, 01:16:30 AM »

Interesting.  So there are EO who use the word "fundamentalist" to refer to themselves as well as Protestants?  This is intriguing that the word can be both a perjorative with tones of being threatened as well as a name to be claimed.  hmm

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« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2007, 01:43:16 AM »

Would it be fair to say that Protestant fundamentalists see themselves as going by the book, while Orthodox fundamentalists go by the book along with the missing chapters (and the rudder)?
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« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2007, 08:32:46 AM »

Would it be fair to say that Protestant fundamentalists see themselves as going by the book, while Orthodox fundamentalists go by the book along with the missing chapters (and the rudder)?

Haven't followed all of this sorry but generally I would say it's not because the Orthodox Church wrote The Holy Bible and decides which books are contained therein whereas the Protestants took our Holy Books and misinterpretted them.

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Sorry about blank post above. Mistake sorry.*

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« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2008, 08:07:16 PM »

From what I get of Fundamentalism is they have no unity, and are usually a local church than sits around condemning people, believing they are the only true religions. Examples would include that crazy website (mentioned somewhere in these forums) jesus-is-savior.com, Jack Chick, and Westboro Bapstist Church. The crazy website (some of things they said include onions domes being "phallic" symbols) condemns both Jack Chick (yet it sometimes cites him!) and Westboro Baptist Church. Jack Chick as everyone knows condemns everything in his path, but even more so is Westboro Baptist who believe that the few within there inbred Cthulu-spawned church are the only ones saved. So many fundamentals don't just condemn other religions, but they condemn each other.

Just out of curiosity, has the Westboro Baptist Church (God Hates Fags Church) picketed any Orthodox Churches? I'm guessing not because they'd have to stand for a 3 hour liturgy.
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« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2011, 06:52:09 PM »

Also, fundamentalism is a movement typically borne out of fear.
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« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2011, 04:54:28 PM »

Some who are not/do not claim the word/disagree with fundamentalists might and have said that about it being from fear.  But some who are might say that they are not afraid because they have The Truth/The Right Way, that God approves of them and their believe or something like that.  From hearing various Phelps family members they do not think that they are afraid, but that they are the small select group with is the only one who really understands the Bible, and God and everything else. 

It's quick and easy to say that a person with an opposing view is fearful, but how does one know if it's really the case, one wonders. That's not really looking at the real human being, may be.

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« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2011, 04:57:28 PM »

I've had a strange tendency to be a fundamentalist when it came to Orthodoxy, it was completely derived from pride. When you are convicned of the truth, you get this tunnel vision that is facilitated by pride.
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« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2011, 05:12:48 PM »

Some have argued (even on this forum) that Christianity is, by nature, Fundamentalist. Personally, I disagree, and I think the difference is in the understanding of what Fundamentalism is.
Personally, I think Fundamentalism, in any religion, has...

That's the problem. Everyone has his own definition of "fundamentalism" but there isn't really any objective way to define it. I've heard plenty of atheists describe as "fundamentalist" anyone who, for example, believes Jesus Christ literally rose from the dead. I prefer not to use the word for anyone except someone who self-identifies as "fudamentalist."
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« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2012, 03:16:02 PM »

Despite what most people think, Islam was one of the last religions in which Fundamentalism began to be practiced.
Fundamentalism began in the US and Britain  early last century among Protestant Christians with the publication of the Conservative Protestant work: "The Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth." This led Baptist Pastor William Bell Riley to found the World Christian Fundamentals Association. This book, and this organiseation are the origins of the word "Fundamentalism".

So what is Fundamentalism?

Some have argued (even on this forum) that Christianity is, by nature, Fundamentalist. Personally, I disagree, and I think the difference is in the understanding of what Fundamentalism is.
Personally, I think Fundamentalism, in any religion, has:
1) a "black and white" worldview which does not allow for indiviual case merits to be explored.
2) a "them and us" worldview which has the doctrine "extra ecclesia nulla salus" as an absolute truth.
3) tends to be tied in with Nationalism and Politics.
4) will adhere to "doctrinal purity" at any cost, even of human dignity.
5) any alternative doctrine is viewed as an assault on the Fundamentalist's Faith, and cannot, therefore, be tolerated or co-existed with.

What are your thoughts?









extra ecclesia nulla salus"






what does this mean in english?
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« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2012, 03:19:12 PM »

extra ecclesia nulla salus"

what does this mean in english?

Outside the Church there is no salvation.
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tweety234
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« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2012, 02:13:30 PM »

extra ecclesia nulla salus"

what does this mean in english?

Outside the Church there is no salvation.

In what way do they mean it though?
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“God has no religion.”
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