ences, Bible schools, and, perhaps most importantly, on the personal level of small Bible-study groups where the prophetic truths could be made plain.
The structures of the movement harmonized with its ideology. Rather than developing a hierarchical order from the top down, it first grew from a network of inter-personal and inter-institutional relationships, 27 as the informal summer Bible conference demonstrates. The vacation setting put everyone on almost the same level and social amenities gave way to the higher spiritual purpose. Yet in the context of common sense informality and equality, a new hierarchy readily emerged. The structure was at least analogous to the ideology. As in the Baconian view of reality one began with particular facts and built from them conclusions of universal validity, so out of the network of seemingly egalitarian relationships among Bible teachers and students effective evangelistic leaders emerged to build authoritarian empires.
Not everyone associated with the networks of Bible teachers, Bible institutes, Bible conferences, and evangelists precisely fit the ideological mold of dispensationalism and thoroughgoing Baconianism. Dwight L. Moody was an outstanding exception. A whole spectrum of opinions separated him and his dispensationalist associates. Yet, while there was not complete uniformity of belief, the intellectual predispositions associated with dispensationalism gave fundamentalism its characteristic hue.
and the Church
More explicitly articulated than their Baconianism (which they simply regarded as self-evident common sense), the dispensationalists' other distinct intellectual predisposition was a strong inclination toward the supernatural. "Heightened supernaturalism" 1 appeared everywhere in dispensationalist thought. Their view of the supernatural origins of Scripture rendered the human element negligible. They stood firm against any erosion of traditional doctrinal emphasis on the miraculous, especially in fundamental teachings about the birth, work, death, and resurrection of Christ. Their view of his dramatic second coming fit this pattern. The great conflict preceding the millennium would be a terrible confrontation between the hosts of Christ and the minions of Satan. This coming conflict, moreover, would mark the culmination of a fierce struggle that dominated all of history. Accordingly,
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Publication information: Book title: Fundamentalism and American Culture:The Shaping of Twentieth Century Evangelicalism, 1870-1925. Contributors: George M. Marsden - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1980. Page number: 62.
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