Think Again: A Response to Fundamentalism’s Claim on Christianity

Based on a series of sermons, “Think Again” makes the argument that certain aspects of fundamentalism are negative forces within Christianity not because of the fundamental beliefs themselves, but because of the judgment that often accompanies them. Cox writes, “For example, it is perfectly acceptable to believe Jesus was born of a virgin. It is not acceptable to think a person who disagrees with you on the subject is going to hell.” He continues, “My prayer is that this book will offer encouragement and hope to those who struggle with their faith. It is okay to wrestle with God! We are commanded to love God with heart, soul and mind. We cannot love God with our mind if we are afraid to think or frightened to ask honest questions.”

Resource Types: Books.

Review & Commentary

3 thoughts on “Think Again: A Response to Fundamentalism’s Claim on Christianity

  1. Review

    If you are turned off by the judgmentalism and exclusivity often displayed by many fundamentalist Christians today, you will want to read this book. Cutting through dogma and legalism, ordained minister The Rev. Dr. Gary Cox looks at the seven fundamentals developed by fundamentalist-minded Christians 100 years ago. He then goes to the heart of Christianity – the teachings of Jesus Christ – to examine five time-honored "New…Old Fundamentals" for all Christians to share today: 1. Christians love God with heart, soul and mind; 2. Christians try to live life so that they love neighbor as self; 3. Christians have faith in the goodness of God’s creation and the goodness of life; 4. Christians live lives filled with joy, because that is the mark of one who loves God, loves neighbor and has faith in the goodness of life; and 5. Christians do not judge other people. Those who follow these fundamentals are Christians. To learn more about Rev. Gary Cox’s ministry, see: http://www.thinkagainbook.com.

  2. Review

    The Wichita Congregation of University Congregational Church has published a book by their pastor Dr. Gary Cox. In ten chapters, six of which are sermons, Cox explores a Christian theology not driven by rules of biblical interpretation, but rather by an individual commitment to God. By describing seven fundamentals used by many Christians to provide sure answers, Cox challenges those believers who, while sincere, draw lines in the sand and presume to define who is and is not a Christian.

    Cox argues that harsh judgments prevalent in fundamentalist Christianity, which permeate our courts, medical care and government, deny the reality that life and faith do not make perfect sense. After closely examining these seven fundamentals, Cox offers his alternate fundamentals, “Ideas that many of us in the modern church consider the real foundation of the true fundamentals of Christianity.”

    The seven fundamentals that Cox challenges are: the Bible is incapable of error; Jesus is fully God; Jesus was born of a virgin; Jesus performed miracles that defied the laws of nature; we deserve to die for our sins but can live eternally, provided we believe Jesus died for our sins; Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the grave and physically ascended into Heaven; Jesus will return again in physical form to judge the living and the dead, bringing about the end of the world.

    In his analysis, Cox examines each fundamental, questioning whether the group of teachings really “should form the bar by which one is judged to be either a Christian or a heathen.” Referring to extensive readings by Biblical scholars, Cox gives a historical context for his interpretation and also considers how modern theologians consider the fundamentals.

    Cox’s main argument against fundamentalism is that it presumes to judge. “It claims that one is either a believer in the fundamentals and therefore saved, or one is judged to be lost and bound for hell.” Offering an alternative set of fundamentals, Cox proposes five that he explains are “new/old” and that are found in the teachings of Jesus. They are: Christians love God with heart, soul and mind; Christians try to live life so that they love neighbor as self; Christians have faith in the goodness of God’s creation and the goodness of life; Christians live lives filled with joy because that is the mark of one who loves God, loves neighbor and has faith in the goodness of life; and Christians do not judge other people.

    Drawing on his own Christian faith and personal experience and as that of a spiritual leader, Cox gives profound insight into the nature of a faith that allows for joy and confusion and weariness and strength. His writing affirms Christians who ascribe to a theology that poses as many questions as it answers, whose strength is strengthened by “giving up” control to the “hands of god.” His is a strong faith, even as he lives with a terminal illness, and his congregation’s wise judgment in publishing this small but weighty volume giving a broad readership is a gift to us all.

or, use the form below to post a comment or a review!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>