Foundations

I have been watching very intently lately as a house in Lewisville was prepared to be moved from one part of town to another. The house is very old, supposedly one of the first built in the area, back in the 1800s. For months “concerned citizens” of Lewisville lobbied to have this house declared an historical location, so that it could be preserved after the property was sold. After much marketing and after raising thousands of dollars, these concerned citizens saw their dream become a reality. I wonder how many people in Lewisville were actually involved in the petition. I wonder how many people in Lewisville cared. Very few who populated my store seemed to even notice what was going on. A small minority, it seems, managed to move a house.

On Christmas Eve a large semi truck began preparations to move the house. This seemed to be a process in and of itself. As I drove by day after day, I noticed bigger piles of dirt around the house every day. The foundation of the house was being dug up, so that the house was standing in the end supported only by the braces attached to the semi. The house was then standing about 2 feet off the ground in some spots, still resting on the ground in others. Yet they kept digging. Before they moved the house, they had dug the foundation 4 or 5 feet from under the house. The foundation was completely removed and temporarily supported on the truck, and then it was moved. A new foundation had already been prepared across the street, where the house would be moved. Very slowly, the house was moved from the old location to the new location, and the new foundation was carefully built back up around the house.

This makes me think of America. As Christians, we are familiar with this illustration, but there is definitely a point here. Of course, we understand that America was originally built on a Christian foundation…to an extent. It was at least built on a conservative, God-acknowledging foundation. Now, America is turning as liberal as the nations around it. With almost surgical care, the foundation of America has been removed and America has been carefully moved to another location. Even this most recent election evidences this move. In fact, the election and its implications could arguably be part of the moving of the nation to a different foundation. Time will tell. The point is, we don’t stand where we once did. What will we do about it? What is the role of Fundamental Christianity in this shifting time? What will we do to reverse this? What can we do to reverse this? How can Fundamental Christianity maintain the old foundation when the building is gone? Does anyone care?

4 thoughts on “Foundations

  1. I agree whole-heartedly. I would even take the analogy a step further and say that if the house stands for America, the new foundation that has been built underneath the house is humanism, a form of socialism, which is set on the sandy soil of naturalism, the excavators/builders are the education systems within our nation.

    Question. How would you define fundamentalism? Is that a good term? Do you consider fundamentalists to be evangelical? Thanks for the great post!

  2. Though certainly not a poplular one, i think fundamentalism is an excellent term to describe the position that we take on the Bible. I would define fundamentalism as a commited faithfulness to a literal interpretation of Scripture, and the separated life that that commitment brings. It is not simply enough to say that one believes in a literal interpretation of Scripture – it must be consistently lived out in every area of life. Your question demands a definition of evangelical. In the broadest sense, it could be defined as a commitment to a literal interpretation of the Bible, particularly the Gospels. In this case yes, Fundamentalists are evangelical. If “evangelical” were defined in other terms, I may not agree. Thanks for reading.

  3. Sorry to take so long getting back to you. I suppose I wouldn’t mind the moniker “Fundamentalist” or “Neofundamentalist” if it were still largely considered by a textbook definition – that these people adhere to the fundamentals of the faith like inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, the doctrines of the faith, etc. Unfortunately it has become a liberal catch-phrase for those who don’t engage in culture. I believe you commented on my blog about that. Evangelicals – while often being called Fundamentalists by Liberals – are devoted to dialogue across theological viewpoints. Of course there has become a range of those who are considered Evangelicals, and I would suggest a tighter redefinition (people like Greg Boyd are considered Evangelical).

    Here is what I consider Evangelicalism to entail:
    1. Commitment to the inspiration, inerrancy, and general perspicuity of Scripture.
    2. Commitment to belief in and obedience to that Scripture.
    3. Commitment to the basic tenants of the faith and devotion to the basic Christian doctrines, where they are clear.
    4. Commitment to the defense and spread of the Gospel.

    There are other, less important, commitments that should also be present, but those are the biggies.

    Another area where I have disagreed with certain “Fundies” is that of the literalism of Scripture interpretation. This fits into my #1 above. While I would agree that Scripture is generally perspicuous, I do not believe that just anyone can pick up the Bible and understand all the underlying meanings and points being made. I do not believe every part of Scripture to be literal in the sense of being straightforward in meaning. Some parts use figures of speech, analogy, simile, parabole, poetry, etc., to get across deeper meanings. Therefore those not trained in Hebrew/Greek and hermeneutics are at a disadvantage when reading the texts. I have debated both Dispensationalist and Reformed thinkers on the nature of Revelation – which I do not expect to come true in a literal sense (that is I believe much of it to be highly symbolic). So while I would initially agree to the literal interpretation of Scripture, I would want that very clearly defined and explained.

    Steve

  4. Greetings, I just discovered your site from doing a search on the Nissen House in Lewisville. Very interesting blog you have there. I like how you’re observing life and offering related biblical thoughts and insights.

    I, too, am a Bible college graduate, although I go back a few more years than you, I’m afraid!

    Keep up the good work. Best wishes on your journey.

    Deb Phillips
    LewisvillePhotos.com

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