Christian morality on the whole seems to be rapidly declining in America and the western hemisphere, but did you know there is a connection between this and the 1925 Scopes trial?
In recent years, removing the Ten Commandments from public spaces has been big news. In fact, Christian morality on the whole seems to be rapidly declining in America and the western hemisphere: abortion is on the rise, divorce rates are climbing, gay marriage issues are increasing. But did you know there is a connection between these events and the 1925 Scopes trial?
In 2003, news reports featured many people demonstrating in front of the Alabama court building after the decision to remove the Ten Commandments monument as a public display. Some were lying prostrate on the ground, crying out to the Lord to stop this from happening. But how many of these people really understood the foundational nature of this battle?
If we asked the demonstrators, “Do you believe in millions of years for the age of the earth—and what about the days of creation in Genesis 1?” — well, our long experience in creation ministry indicates that the answer would most likely be something like “What? They’re taking the Ten Commandments out — why are you asking me irrelevant questions?”
To read the rest of Ken Ham and Dr. David Menton’s article, click here.
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The issue of inerrancy has and continues to remain a foundational element of the fundamentalist movement. It is from the doctrine of inerrancy that most of the accepted fundamentalist beliefs such as the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the vicarious atonement, and the bodily second coming of Christ were founded upon. As noted by fundamentalist scholar and author George Marsden, “Inerrancy, which was to become a code word for much of the fundamentalist movement, had a scientific quality that was related to the view of truth as directly apprehended facts.” As such, inerrancy drove fundamentalist doctrine in a number of key areas as well as the fundamentalist response to modernism, liberalism, evolution, and later efforts at separatism.
Biblical stalwarts such as the Princeton theologians stood against the growing tide of higher criticism and theological liberalism that seemed to be crashing from Europe against the shores of the American theological establishment. As numerous denominations and religious institutions succumbed to the influence of modernism and liberalism, it was conservative scholars such as A. A. Hodge, C. I. Scofield and institutions such as the Princeton Theological Seminary and the Moody Bible Institute who, at least for a time, tried to stem the tide of attacks against the inerrancy of scripture. Scholars such as J. Gresham Machen “who only reluctantly bore the name of fundamentalist,” “fully supported the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.”
A belief in inerrancy by most fundamentalists greatly contributed to the development of various doctrines of the movement in an effort to demonstrate the trustworthiness of scripture. Additionally, this belief provided a means by which to engage the influence and spread of Darwinian evolution and it continues to this day to be a foundational element for interpreting scripture. Fundamentalism and fundamentalist doctrine has centered largely on the issue of inerrancy and the response to those who seek to denigrate scripture by questioning inerrancy as a necessary and prominent issue of the faith. This paper will focus on the development of inerrancy as a fundamental doctrine of the fundamentalist movement, strategically important documents and events which helped shape inerrancy as a vital issue in the fundamentalist perspective, as well as modern trends in the fundamentalist approach to inerrancy. Continue reading “Michael Boling – Inerrancy as an Issue in the Fundamentalist Movement: 1900 to the Present”
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