|dc.description.abstract||In light of the negative reactions of post conservative and post liberal theologians like Brian McLaren and Stanley Grenz towards fundamentalism, it may seem that fundamentalist theologians have found their biggest nemesis in postmodernity. This may spell problems for theologians in the Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika (GKSA) who, in the past, have been accused of being fundamentalist theologians.
I want to ascertain if a selection of theologians from the GKSA in the 1950's practised a fundamentalist theology - as described by post conservative and post liberal theologians like Stanley Grenz.
Grenz et al, traces the origins of modern day fundamentalism back to a group of Presbyterian theologians from Princeton University who, quite ironically, came to be modernist theologians whilst battling the influence of modernity on protestant theology in the United States. This becomes apparent due to the fact that the Princeton theologians used a classical foundationalist epistemology influenced by Rene Descartes, John Locke and Thomas Reid. Because of this the Princeton theologians held to an inerrant view of the Bible and saw themselves as empirical scientists identifying and arranging facts from the Bible via induction. The selection of theologians from the GKSA in the 1950's will be compared against this description of fundamentalism.
The results of the comparison is as follows: The selection of theologians from the GKSA in the 1950's do not appear to be fundamentalist theologians. They do not use a classical foundationalist epistemology and they do not see themselves as empirical scientists who indentifies and arranges facts from the Bible via induction. The selection of theologians from the GKSA in the 1950's are more likely to be influenced by the foundationalist epistemology of the Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper. The brand of foundationalism Kuyper uses, focuses on the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. Objectivity in science, according to this view, is a fallacy. Further findings suggests however that this view may also lead to the dehumanization of knowledge because the theologian must listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit whilst not interfering with the process himself. The selection of theologians from the GKSA in the 1950's, even if they are not empirical scientists, therefore run the risk of being labelled as fundamentalist theologians.
This has serious implications for current theologians, ministers and members of the GKSA. We all are called to reassess the way in which we deal with the presuppositions of the exegete and the socio historic context of the writers of the Bible. We must do so in order to proclaim the gospel in a relevant manner in a postmodern climate.||