At both Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School I heard the story of modern-day Evangelicalism. It was a movement which sought to break away from the anti-intellectualism and lack of cultural engagement of the hapless Fundamentalists.
The consistent impression was that the Evangelicals left the Fundamentalists for good. I’m no longer so sure of that narrative.
It seems there remains at least some Fundamentalist tendencies within much of Evangelicalism. I see it regularly in the lack of interest in the church’s history, and confidence, even hubris, over how one understands non primary doctrinal issues like the age of the earth. The pugnacious and polemical spirit which characterized modern-day Fundamentalism seems to still find safe haven in too many so-called Evangelical churches.
Reading through all my sermons and landed on a rather arresting application I gave in one from July 20, 1997:
“Each night as you fall asleep imagine that your bed is your casket.” My point, of course, was not to be unduly morbid. Rather, it was to spend a few moments reminding one’s self of memento mori (“remember you are mortal”) and order your life accordingly. Ps. 90:12!
One from 1993 was on The Lord’s Prayer. An early church document for worship (Didache) said we ought to pray The Lords Prayer three times a day. I also had a note that the Lord’s Prayer has become rote for many people when ironically the purpose of the Lord’s Prayer was to protect us from simply going through the motions! See Matt 6:7,8.
An excerpt from my forthcoming book, God, What on Earth are You Doing? an Honest Conversation:
I often say that we Americans know how to cry, but not lament. Crying can simply be sadness over circumstances we do not like. Lament is a deeper cry of the soul that brings one’s sorrow to God and wrestles with it there. One wise pastor says, “In this fallen world, sadness is an act of sanity, our tears the testimony of the sane.” Those in this category have internalized the great themes of the Bible, not in the stereotypical Sunday school sort of way, but in a way that has produced lasting fruit over the course of many years.
 Zack Eswine, Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those who Suffer from Depression (Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2014), 30.
My own reading is summarized by the acrostic GROWTH.
G: Greats which the widely recognized classics. And since you should not just read the greats, but reread them that is happening more as I age. So a read and then reread of The Taming of the Shrew by Mr. Shakespeare is common . By the way, I did not start reading Shakespeare until my early forties. There is hope for anyone!
R: Reviews I need to write or books for upcoming interviews.
O: Other reading that doesn’t neatly fit in the five main categories. It is only as time permits which is rare! These kinds of books might find their way on vacation…which has also been rare these past several years.
W: Word of God. Commentaries and any book which helps me know the Bible better. And yes, I like to read commentaries cover to cover like real books.
T: Teaching preparation which can be just about anything.