George M. Marsden's Fundamentalism And American Culture

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What is fundamentalism? Essentially, it is an adherence to the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to life and teaching. In his book, Fundamentalism and American Culture, George M. Marsden attacks the daunting question of “How has the fundamentalist movement managed to resist the pressures of the scientific community and the draw of modern popular culture to hold on to their ultra-conservative Christian views?” Not only does this History textbook answer that pressing question, but it also tells the incredible, encouraging tale of how Christian principles CAN survive in a godless world. From the first chapter, Marsden notes fundamentalism’s steady march through American history. Starting when America was first diverging from a Christian…show more content…
Each of the Christian cartoons shown in the book back up the author’s overall points and help push the book along. Once the reader hits page fifty three, the book begins to come alive in the reader’s eyes. One of the best illustrations Marsden uses (in my opinion) is on page 100. At the top of the page, in bold letters, the picture says, “Important Election.” Underneath that is a picture of a ballot will God voted yes to the question “will you be saved?” and Satan has voted no. Then, the final line says, “A tie! Your vote must decide the issue.” Though this seems funny, it perfectly illustrates the purpose behind Marsden’s book. Proving that fundamentalism has carried on in spite of all the naysayers and opponents, also proves that God has been actively at work in history keeping Biblical truths alive and…show more content…
In part two, Marsden bolsters his point about how democracy was also harmed by the opponents of fundamentalism by incorporating the book of Daniel into the text. He goes on to explain how the iron and clay feet of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 signified the (soon to be) League of Nations in the eyes of dispensationalists (opponents of fundamentalism). This led them to conclude that democracy was weak. Such use of Scripture to back up a Biblically based way of life is both vital and powerful. Perhaps, the most frightening aspect of this book is the ever-darkening depravity of American culture. Honestly, if a reader traces the opponents of fundamentalism through the work, they find a disturbing trend that explains why America is facing the problems she’s facing today. Slowly but surely, those who hold to fundamentalism are becoming fewer in number. Now, most well-educated people would not know what fundamentalism is or (more importantly) what it stands for. Small wonder America is going to Hell in a handbasket (pardon my
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