Here’s an interesting article by Stan Ingersol from the official Church of the Nazarene website called “Strange Bedfellows The Nazarenes and Fundamentalism” It’s not an especially easy read, after all it was written for publication in a Theological Journal.
In it Ingersol deals with the history of the Fundamentalist movement in the U.S. and how Nazarene and other Wesleyan theologians have responded to it. If you want to get to the more current history just skip to the last third of the article.
There’s mention of the development of the famous 1928 Nazarene statement on Scripture in which the integrity of Scripture is affirmed even while the denomination pivots away from a more extreme point of view. Ingersol writes: “the revised Nazarene article on Scripture in 1928 emphasized the church’s confession that Scripture is a reliable and trustworthy witness to salvation, while avoiding fundamentalism’s more extreme emphasis.”
There’s more with comments on topics like Creation Science and women in the ministry. The article concludes:
The Church of the Nazarene formed in the century in which fundamentalism took shape as a movement. Both have grown up together. At times Nazarenes have even chosen to be bedfellows to fundamentalism. But the Nazarenes were the product of a very different set of theological ideas; their spiritual life the expression of a different essential quality. If they are wise, those are truths they will never forget.
Again, this isn’t a light read for most of us. Still, in a time when individuals and groups are seeking to rewrite the history and theology of the church I think it’s telling that this article is posted on the official denominational website.