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The Smell of Sawdust
Many evangelicals paint fundamentalism with the same broad, negative brush. But we owe more to our pietist-revivalist roots than we realize.Richard Mouw’s awareness of fundamentalism’s problems hasn’t robbed his appreciation for its strengths. The Smell of Sawdust sheds thoughtful and revealing light on the colorful parentage of contemporary evangelicalism. If you detect f ...more
Published October 30th 2000 by Zondervan
(first published October 17th 2000)
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This warm and engaging look at the legacy of Fundamentalism comes highly recommended. What I loved most was how Mouw showed appreciation for what he had experience in the crusades, camps and Bible conferences of early 20th century Fundamentalism even as he disagreed with many things as well. Mouw is critical of the dispensational reductionism that closed off many parts of the Bible as "not for us today." He is critical of the hesitancy of many fundamentalists to be involved in dialogue about the ...more
Mouw brings his own history to bear on evangelicalism's past and finds, unlike the modern critics of fundamentalism, some things to hold close. It is a simple, gentle, introspective, and personal read, full of hymns and stories, and ending with wonder. If fundamentalism was anti-intellectual, otherworldly, and separatist - the opposites (a too highly intellectualized faith where experience is lost, a too worldly existence, and a "vague inclusivism" that blunts distinctions) are just as dangerous ...more
Richard John Mouw is a theologian and philosopher. He held the position of President at Fuller Theological Seminary for 20 years (1993-2013), and continues to hold the post of Professor of Faith and Public Life.