I keep running into walls when trying to describe stuff in politics, philosophy, theology, etc., concerning what is or isn’t “liberal” or “conservative” or “fundamentalist” or “evangelical” – and so on.
I think, for myself and for now, I will define a “fundamentalist” (little ‘f’) as one who will not or cannot honestly consider or accommodate that there could be alternative opinions/ideas/theories other than that which s/he already accepts as “fact.”
So, when the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary makes statements like “no credible scholar” accepts the alternative interpretations of Scripture concerning what the Bible actually does or does not say about homosexuality, what he is saying is that a scholar can only be “credible,” and therefore worthy of consideration, if s/he agrees with the president’s already decided opinion of what is the truth. It is circular reasoning, and it is a hallmark of “fundamentalists.”
By the way, a “fundamentalist” can be either a “conservative” or a “liberal!”
I will stand by the idea that if any of us truly want to know Truth we have to first acknowledge that what we have believed up to this point could be wrong. I am a fallible human and will always be prone to mistakes and deceptions. If we don’t, all we want is confirmation of what we already believe to be true and the consolation that goes along with that pseudo-security. This isn’t relativism. It is, I think and as much as I can determine, humility.
All we want to do is gather around us those who will scratch our itching ears – and to a “fundamentalist” this constitutes who is a “credible scholar” or not!