- In 1986 [i.e., when “the last sustained history of fundamentalism” was “published by a fundamentalist”], neither Dave Doran nor Tim Jordan held the pastorates that have come to be associated with their names. Dan Davey and Mark Minnick were associate pastors in Virginia Beach and Greenville, respectively. Matt Olson was just a few years into the planting of Tri-City Baptist Church near Denver. John Hartog III was a college student, and Stephen Jones was still in high school.
- In 1986, clear fissures were already evident within the fundamentalist movement.
- Things have changed for fundamentalism. Indeed, they still are. Rapidly. For a generation there has been no comprehensive attempt to summarize the changes and directions within fundamentalism, to link them to the past, and to draw out the trajectories along which they may carry fundamentalist churches and institutions in the future.
- These essays will neither defend nor denounce fundamentalism.
- I do not intend to try to persuade anyone—least of all young leaders—that they must remain in the fundamentalist movement. I love the idea of fundamentalism, and I would like to persuade people of its beauty and utility. The fundamentalist movement, however, is at best an imperfect embodiment of the idea. Those who can find a better incarnation of the idea ought to pursue it. Ideas ought to command our allegiance, not party or institutional loyalties.
- One underlying thesis of this series is that the fundamentalist movement no longer exists. The unraveling of the movement began in the 1960s and has continued virtually without interruption. At the present, little coherence remains among self-identified fundamentalists. The result is that no one can choose to be a fundamentalist simpliciter. In order to be a fundamentalist at all, one must choose among fundamentalist influences and institutions. The inevitable result is that all contemporary fundamentalists are modified fundamentalists, in the sense that they all require some modifier or qualifier to be attached to the name.