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Every now and then I get asked in a blog comment, an email, or on Facebook, why I bother trying to talk to the hardened Christian right about the Bible. Why not just give up and move on, leaving them to play in their sandbox.

Good point. I’ve thought about it a lot, more so in recent months, and here are ten reasons why a part of me is going to keep on doing what I’ve been doing.

1. Fundamentalists are human beings and therefore are of infinite worth.

2. Fundamentalists are my brothers and sisters in the faith.

3. In the practice of my own faith, what I do to others does not hinge on what others do to me.

4. Not all fundamentalists are in hyper-battle mode, and not all have painted a target on my back.

5. Some fundamentalists are on a journey out of fundamentalism, even if they do not yet know it, and they need a place to land.

6. Vocal fundamentalist gatekeepers do not speak for all those they claim to speak for, and so all fundamentalists should not be grouped together.

7. Fundamentalists can be kind and open-minded in theological disagreement, and just plain old kind in general. Some of the nicest, godliest, people I know are fundamentalists.

8. No more or less than any other Christian subgroup, fundamentalists genuinely and sincerely seek after God in ways that make most sense to them.

9. Fundamentalists may tend toward equating virtually all aspects of Scripture as literally reflecting space and time reality, but they are also taking seriously the call to “acces” the biblical story.

10. I don’t have a 10th point, but “10 reasons” is a better blog post title than “9 reasons.” It would have looked like I haven’t thought this through. If you have a 10th point, by all means let me know.



Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.