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The Tenacity of Unreasonable BeliefsFundamentalism and the Fear of Truth$
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Solomon Schimmel

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195188264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195188264.001.0001

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 Christian Biblical Fundamentalism

 Christian Biblical Fundamentalism

(p.101) Chapter Four Christian Biblical Fundamentalism
The Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs

Solomon Schimmel (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, the belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus, and the theology and practices of serpent‐handling sects. This chapter points out the irrationality and circularity of the ‘proofs’ for ‘biblical inerrancy’ put forth by the evangelical Protestant theologian, Grudem. It then examines the claims of the fundamentalist Craig for the historicity of the physical resurrection of Jesus, and the views of the philosopher Flew, the New Testament scholar Ehrman, and the psychologist Kent, who provide naturalistic, non‐miraculous explanations for the origin and spread of the belief in Jesus' resurrection. The chapter, using Ralph Hood's concept of ‘intratextuality’ examines how members of the Pentecostal Church of God (Of Prophecy) sect, led by Hensley, derive from the Bible a mandate to handle venomous snakes in order to prove their Christian faith, and explains why their way of reading and interpreting the Bible makes no sense.

Keywords:   Biblical inerrancy, physical resurrection, Jesus, serpent‐handling, snake‐handlers, intratextuality, Christian fundamentalism, Grudem, Craig, Flew, Ehrman, Hood, Hensley, Kent, Pentecostal, Church of God

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