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"Parallel Lines Never Intersect"

Title: "Parallel Lines Never Intersect": The Influence of Dutch Reformed Presuppostitionalism in American Christian Fundamentalism "Parallel Lines Never Intersect":.
Name(s): Brasich, Adam S., author
Corrigan, John, professor directing thesis
Porterfield, Amanda, committee member
Kelsay, John, committee member
Department of Religion, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Much of the current historiography of American Christian fundamentalism focuses solely on Scottish Common Sense Realism as an intellectual source of fundamentalist epistemology since the early twentieth century. This thesis argues against this historiographical trend by illuminating the central role of Dutch Reformed presuppositionalism in the formation of fundamentalist epistemologies. Articulated within the context of revitalization, confessional, and secessionists movements within the state Dutch Reformed Church, theologians such as Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck developed an epistemological system that stressed the necessity of correct presuppositions as a prerequisite for obtaining truth. Without correct ideas about God, in other words, one was incapable of perceiving any other truth in its fullness. This epistemological tradition was brought to North America by Dutch Reformed immigrants, who primarily settled in the Upper Midwest during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Cornelius Van Til, one of these immigrants, served as a professor at J. Gresham Machen's Westminster Theological Seminary immediately following the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy and taught his unswerving presuppositionalism to several generations of non-Dutch, American Presbyterian seminarians, including Francis A. Schaeffer. Schaeffer, though rejecting the strictly Reformed strain of fundamentalism represented by Machen and Van Til's Orthodox Presbyterian Church, adapted presuppositionalism to suit his purposes, combining it with traditional Princetonian Scottish Common Sense Realism. This resulted in an epistemology that proved to be influential during the rise of the Christian Right in the latter half of the twentieth century. By investigating epistemologies that competed with Scottish Common Sense Realism or creatively interacted with it, a clearer picture appears of the diverse nature of Christian fundamentalism. It no longer seems to be monolithic, but rather it contains a plethora of theological and confessional influences that interact in numerous ways that necessitate academic investigation.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-7308 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Religion in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2013.
Date of Defense: March 27, 2013.
Keywords: Cornelius Van Til, Francis Schaeffer, Fundamentalism, Presuppositionalism, Reformed theology
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: John Corrigan, Professor Directing Thesis; Amanda Porterfield, Committee Member; John Kelsay, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Religion
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Host Institution: FSU

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Brasich, A. S. (2013). "Parallel Lines Never Intersect": The Influence of Dutch Reformed Presuppostitionalism in American Christian Fundamentalism "Parallel Lines Never Intersect":. Retrieved from