Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Eric Bain-Selbo (Director of Thesis), Isabel Mukonyora, Nahed Zehr

Degree Program

Department of Philosophy & Religion

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Christianity in America is in decline. Millennials are leaving the evangelical churches of their youth in droves, but they aren’t leaving the idea of God or spirituality. Statistics show that the theology of the fundamentalist/conservative evangelical church is contributing to this exodus of Millennials, particularly when it comes to issues of environment, sexuality, and violence. This thesis explores the roots of fundamentalist theology—particularly their understanding of what the Bible is, and how it is to be understood—and how this theology is practically worked out in their approach to the three issues mentioned above. Finally, I offer an alternative framework for understanding what the Bible is, and how it could be applied in a way that takes the text seriously, is faithful to the Christian tradition, and offers a way forward that is more inclusive. While this thesis does not answer every question that might be raised about all these issues (and more than these), it does offer a helpful, workable framework and approach to the Bible and culture that must be taken into account by anyone wishing to use the text in an exclusionary manner.


Christianity | Religion

Included in

Christianity Commons