The Eclectic Web – April 28, 2014

Compiled by Don Johnson

Once again it is time to take a look at our collection of links from the past few weeks. We have items from a wide variety of sources, from defining evangelicalism and fundamentalism to the latest shenanigans of Catholicism. We also have a call for morality from the secular pages of the New York Times and an interesting interview that provides insight into evangelizing Muslims.

Evangelicalism: What is Evangelicalism after all?

Book Review: Homespun GospelThe Trouble with Touchy-Feely Faith

Homespun Gospel could very well launch a broad reinterpretation of contemporary evangelicalism. By placing sentimentality at its center, Brenneman challenges some long-standing assumptions about the movement’s contours and priorities. He argues that evangelicals’ “culture of emotionality” and “appeal to tender feelings” subtly shape both their beliefs about God and their manner of engaging the modern world. Sentimentalism elevates personal emotional needs—and their satisfaction through divine help—to evangelicalism’s highest priority.

Fundamentalism: History of Fundamentalism

10 Key Events: Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism in 20th Century America – Justin Taylor

Justin Taylor offers a fairly good summary of key events of the last century. One could argue with some of his descriptions, perhaps a few other events could have been highlighted, but these ten certainly are critical parts of the story.

Following Laws’s original usage and utilizing the excellent analysis of Nathan Finnfundamentalism, in its broadest and original sense (encompassing the disparate parties that would emerge), can be defined as conservative Protestant dissent against progressive (or revisionist, or Modernist, or Liberal) doctrine and mores. Those in the crossfires of fundamentalist so-called militancy were those who advocated:

  • progressivist beliefs that undermined the fundamentals doctrines (e.g., naturalistic evolution, biblical criticism, later neo-orthodoxy), and

  • progressivist values that undermined the fundamentalist understanding of the Christian life (e.g., dancing, drinking, gambling for some; others would focus more upon political movements like communism in the 1950s, or upon sexual mores, especially into the 1960s).

Catholicism: The ‘saints’ Go Marching In

Two popes ‘canonized’ by the two living popes — April 27: Ironies abound, manufactured ‘miracles’, superstitious sentiment, mighty deception. One of the deceived, Raymond de Souza comments in the National Post:

Why it makes sense for Popes John Paul II and John XXIII to be canonized on the same day

A graphic describing the steps to ‘sainthood’: Steps along the road to sainthood graphic: How Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII became saints

Humanism: Child Training – Humanistic perspective, Universal desire

Raising a Moral Child –

Yet although some parents live vicariously through their children’s accomplishments, success is not the No. 1 priority for most parents. We’re much more concerned about our children becoming kind, compassionate and helpful. Surveys reveal that in the United States, parents from European, Asian, Hispanic and African ethnic groups all place far greater importance on caring than achievement. These patterns hold around the world: When people in 50 countries were asked to report their guiding principles in life, the value that mattered most was not achievement, but caring.

Islam: A Muslim Journey to Christ

A Devout Muslim’s Powerful Journey to Christ: An Interview with Nabeel Qureshi

Interview gives insight into evangelizing Muslims.

1. What are the biggest factors that keep Muslims from converting to Christianity?

The environment and community they’ve been raised in keeps them from converting. For Muslims, Christianity is shameful, so to become a Christian would be dishonorable.

Also, for Muslims, believing Jesus is God is a sin. In fact, it’s the biggest sin there is. When I told my mom I’d converted, she said she’d rather I was an atheist or a homosexual. This belief precludes them from ever thinking about Christianity.


Publication of links in The Eclectic Web feature does not imply endorsement of the viewpoint or contents of any of the websites linked. The links are provided as a matter of interest to Christians.

The Eclectic Web is compiled by Don Johnson. Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.