There is no doubt that Neo-Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism are in for a good deal of change. What were two distinct camps within Evangelicalism are now beginning to mingle. It seems that in the church, new battlefronts are taking shape and forcing these two separate parties to unite or die.
In the past, on the one hand, Neo-Evangelicalism embraced cooperation with Neo-Orthodox and critical scholars. There was also a downgrading of Biblical applications. And there was a resistance to offend even where the Bible takes a stand. On the the other hand, Fundamentalism separated itself into oblivion. There was a Pharisaic development of application. And there was no hesitation to offend even where the Bible does not speak clearly.
Each group has encountered significant challenges to their systems. Neo-Evangelicalism began spawning liberal (in a lose sense) theologians like Pete Enns who denies the inspiration of Scripture. Fundamentalism began spawning, for lack of a better term, FUNDAMENTALISTS some of whom claim that salvation is only possible from the KJV (Which position, ironically, undercuts the inspiration of Scripture like the Liberals).
Coming to the present, it seems like each group is reevaluating it’s positions and discovering that we need each other. We are fighting with our backs to each other trying to ward off our unhealthy progeny.
Fundamentalism is realizing that we over-defined the rules. We’ve created rules where the Scriptures are silent. Also, we wrongly elevated the doctrine of separated to the point that it became our primary doctrine. Separation is a clear teaching, but it must be put in its proper place–somewhere well below unity. We have begun to get interested in scholarship again and in social work. Neo-Evangelicalism has realized that you must set boundaries. There are core truths (fundamentals) of the faith which we must guard.
Here is my prediction. Neo-Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism will unite in the middle. We may never shake hands (though I hope we do) but our theological camps will intermix. The term Fundamentalism will be owned by FUNDAMENTALISTS and I think slowly fade away. The liberal leaning groups will break off or be kicked out. These groups, just like classic Liberalism, will fade because of their rejection of truth.
In the middle, we’ll all be Evangelicals again–at least until we find something else to fight about.