The Psychologies in Religion: Working with the Religious Client

By E. Thomas Dowd; Stevan Lars Nielsen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
Conservative Christianity:
A New Emerging Culture

John R. Belcher


IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF
CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANITY

People often lump together Christian fundamentalists and conservative Christians, such as Pentecostals, Charismatics, and Evangelicals. It is true that there are some conservative Christians who also agree with many of the principles of Christian fundamentalists. However, most conservative Christians are neofundamentalist at best. Beginning in the 1950s, neofundamentalism, which was less militant and outspoken than Christian fundamentalism, began to emerge (Carpenter, 1997). Whereas Christian fundamentalism was rooted in a bedrock antimodern and antiliberal mentality that also believed in premillennailism and the verbal inerrancy of the Bible (Marsden, 1980; Sandeen, 1978), neofundamentalism borrowed some principles from Christian fundamentalism but was more willing to partially negotiate with modernity and adopt some of its practices.

Marsden (1980) correctly noted that fundamentalism shared its roots with other conservative Christian movements, such as Wesleyans, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and Charismatics. Note that these various movements do not, with few exceptions, work together; they are not interdenominational. There have been some attempts to dialogue (Gros, 2003); however, these discussions usually have not reached significant agreement. The Holiness churches, for example, have been involved in conversations with other Christians since 1957. Usually, however, these

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