Because they are creationists?  Well, it points that way, but it’s not the main reason.

Because they believe in inerrancy?  Well, it seems a silly thing to believe in to me, but it’s not the main reason.

Because they’re generally somewhere to the right of Attilla the Hun?  No, not even that.

Because it doesn’t work.

Let’s just for a moment assume the core Fundamentalist belief – inerrancy of Scripture – is correct.  That Scripture is God’s Word, God speaking directly to us.

I’ve known a lot of people who believe this, and sometimes it’s the only thing they agree on.  Some are preterist, some look forward to a great tribulation.  Some are fiercely Calvinist.  Others vigorously Arminian.  Some hold to a strong paedobaptist tradition.  Others insist on believer’s baptism.  Some insist that the dramatic gifts of the Spirit are for today; others equally that they died out with the Apostles.

And every one of them is convinced that the Scriptures prove that they are right and going against them requires a failure to believe God’s Word.

So there’s a problem.  If the Scriptures are God’s Word and inerrant, nevertheless those who believe this to be the case can’t actually agree what God’s Word says

I have to conclude that to whatever extent the Bible is God’s message to humanity, then God isn’t desperately worried about us getting our theology right.  Which would be fine if Fundamentalism didn’t tend to require that one does get the theology right.  There are loads of Fundamentalisms out there, all convinced that they alone have the exact truth, although they might differ about how right you have to be, nevertheless I’ve been told, for example, that if I had “saving faith” then I’d recognise the truth of the speaker’s particular brand of Fundamentalism.

So either (a) Fundamentalism – all flavours – is false, or (b) one of them is correct and God’s the sort of trickster who hands you a pack of cards, says “Pick a card, any card.” and if you get the wrong one torments you for all eternity in a fiery Hell.

I feel reasonably confident therefore in writing off the probability of Fundamentalist Christianity being the truth without even having to point out that scientific illiteracy of creationism, the historical and literary incompetency of inerrancy, and all the rest.

Which is good, because I’m a right negative bugger and it’d be easy to spend my time rubbishing Fundamentalists on those bases.  But I don’t think I need to.  I can’t really give Fundamentalism a proper consideration as the truth because the first question has to be which one?

This of course all raises a rather fundamental (ha ha) question, for another post I think.

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