Larger ears and smaller horns : towards distinguishing conservative from fundamentalist theology
CITATION: Bosman, H. 2008. Larger ears and smaller horns : towards distinguishing conservative from fundamentalist theology. Scriptura, 99:422-431, doi:10.7833/99-0-680.
The original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za
The term ‘fundamentalism’ is often used to ridicule any strong religious conviction and greater conceptual clarity must be achieved to do justice to conservative and evangelical approaches that are decidedly not fundamentalist. This contribution attempts to distinguish between conservative and fundamentalist modes of theological reflection and how this distinction is important within a South African context. Special attention will be given to the different interpretations of the Bible and history in response to Modernism. One of the main arguments is that conservative and evangelical theology become fundamentalist when it refuses to listen to or engage in dialogue with alternative points of view (the need for larger ears). This lack of tolerance becomes dangerous when it triggers the increase of the vehemence with which the own point of view is defended as ‘the only’ truth (the need for smaller horns).