Darrell Dow, creator of the renowned Christian website Stuff Fundies Like, just released his new book Fundamental Flaws. I got a chance to talk to Darrell before he completed his book publishing project, and to read the book before it came out. The book is insightful and succinct, useful to a wide variety of folks of a Fundamentalist background (and possibly to those without it, in understanding what it all means). Below are a few of Darrell’s thoughts.
1) What books have influenced you most over the course of your life?
It’s hard to pick just a few. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of television so I used to read several books a week. I think reading Orwell’s 1984 during college was the first time I really came face-to-face with the concept the authoritarian power structures that tried to re-invent reality. That was seminal. C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity (and later The Reason For
God by Tim Keller) also were key in showing me that orthodox Christianity was a far larger family than what I had been led to be believe. I also just finished all the Harry Potter books so I’m sure that’s somehow important too.
2) How would you say that your educational background influenced you?
I was home schooled for most of my childhood. That afforded me the time to read what interested me and study things that perhaps children in a more rigid learning environment may not have had the chance to do. Of course, attending a fundamentalist college was really what began my journey out of fundamentalism. When you see the inconsistencies and the rhetoric writ large it’s kind of hard to miss exactly how wrongheaded so much of it is. Without Pensacola Christian College there would be no SFL — not that I think that information will ever make it into their advertising.
3) What is a fundy?
Trying to get a detailed answer to that is like trying to nail the proverbial jello to the wall. Most of my writing is about those who self-identify as Independent Fundamental Baptists. But even in that world there are huge debates about who really deserves the title and who doesn’t. In a more general sense anyone from a Christian organization with a highly controlled, low trust environment will likely find something they can identify with on SFL. We have “fundy” readers from a variety of backgrounds.