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Tim Challies

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General News

November 07, 2003

Visitors to this site often ask my why I identify myself as a fundamentalist. Truth be told there are a few reasons. So let me cover the fundamentals of fundamentalism.

  1. Fundamentalism has different meanings to different people. It is a word that crosses religious boundaries as there are, for example, both Christian and Muslim fundamentalists. Of course in North America we most often associate the word with a particular brand of conservative Protestantism.
  2. I originally began using the tag “Putting the Fun in Fundamentalism” after a person in an online community I am part of described me as “the guy who puts the fun in fundamentalism.” I was one of the Christian voices in that forum and earned a reputation as a fundamentalist because of my conservative Christian beliefs (also known as Calvinism).
  3. Fundamentalism is considered a bad word in our society. Make use of “fundamentalism” in a word association game and you would find that people associate fundamentalism with Jerry Falwell, Bob Jones, religious zealotry, the crusades and probably people like that “God Hates Fags” guy.
  4. Fundamentalism is not, at its roots, a bad thing. It has simply received (and possibly earned) a bad reputation. The core meaning of the word is “a return to fundamental principles and a strong or rigid adherence to these principles.” That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? People like Falwell have, unfairly, come to embody this word the same way that men like Paul Hill who kill doctors that perform abortions have (again, unfairly) come to represent the pro-life movement in people’s eyes.
  5. This leaves the question, then, of what are the fundamental principles to which I adhere? They are hardly revolutionary, being simply the five “solas” of the Reformation. Those are, of course:
    • Scripture Alone
    • Christ Alone
    • Grace Alone
    • Faith Alone
    • Glory to God Alone.
Disappointed? As I mentioned, there is nothing revolutionary here! Simply good, old-fashioned Christianity.

November 06, 2003

The Jerusalem Post recently ran an article where they gave some rather startling statistics. Currently in the United Kingdom there are approximately 1,000,000 practicing Christians (no denominational breakdown of what that includes) and about 750,000 practicing Muslims.

Now it is no great secret that church attendance in the United Kingdom has been plummetting in recent times, but the gravity of the fall is quite shocking. Only one in 58 people (1.7%) consider themselves Christian while a eerily similar number (1.3%) are Muslim. It is incredible just how far England has fallen.

England was once the stronghold of Christianity. When the rest of Europe was united under the pope, England stood apart. For most of modern history the greatest missionaries, song-writers and preachers have come from England. I suppose we cannot expect as many great Christians to arise from the United Kingdom in the near future when so many have turned their back on God and on their godly heritage. What a shame.

November 04, 2003

My computer is having a bad day. A really bad day. I was just working away and suddenly started getting error messages left, right and centre. Scans and reboots have not helped the situation at all. So now I am forced to go and buy a new hard drive and begin the slow, tedious process of reinstalling. Oh joy!

Anyways, hopefully I will return soon.

November 02, 2003

I owe some thanks to my buddy Dave who introduced me to iTunes. iTunes is an excellent media player created by Apple. Usually the fact that Apple made it would be more than enough to turn me off of it, but based on Dave’s recommendation I decided to give it a try. And I am glad that I did. Though it is a bit low on bells and whistles (skins would be nice, for example) it has some features that set it above other media players. My favorite is that you can rate each song in your collection on a 1 to 5 star scale. You can then create playlists that will only play songs with a certain rating. That allows you to listen to only the best of the best if you so desire. When you spend as much time in front of the PC as I do, that is a very nice feature! Another great feature is built-in Internet radio functionality with a huge selection of stations available.

It is a free program and is worth looking into.