Musings on …… Fundy~mental~ism


To start out your week with a bang…. 

My stuff is written in italics 

Please remember when you are commenting here, I am only focusing on christian fundamentalism and I only did this because I was wondering if I fell under its definition…. Unabridged (v 1.1)Cite This Source

fun·da·men·tal·ism   [fuhn-duh-men-tl-iz-uhm] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation


1. (sometimes initial capital letter) a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.
2. the beliefs held by those in this movement.
3. strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles: the fundamentalism of the extreme conservatives.

fun·da·men·tal·ist, noun, adjective Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

American Heritage DictionaryCite This Source

fun·da·men·tal·ism   (fŭn’də-měn’tl-ĭz’əm)  Pronunciation Key

  1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
    1. often Fundamentalism An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.
    2. Adherence to the theology of this movement.


{from wiki}Fundamentalism originally referred to a movement in North American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism (see below, “History”), stressing that the Bible is literally inerrant, not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record.

The term “fundamentalism” has since been expanded by analogy to refer to a variety of religious, political, and ideological positions. In its broadest usage in general terms, it denotes strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles. The American Heritage Dictionary defines “fundamentalism” as “a usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.”

{from Wiki}Fundamentalist Christianity, or Christian fundamentalism, is a movement that arose mainly within British and American Protestantism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by conservative evangelical Christians, who, in a reaction to modernism, actively affirmed a fundamental set of Christian beliefs: the inerrancy of the Bible, Sola Scriptura, the virgin birth of Christ, the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

The nature of the Christian fundamentalist movement, while originally a united effort within conservative evangelicalism, evolved during the early-to-mid 1900s to become more separatist in nature and more characteristically dispensational in its theology. Most fundamentalists have strongly opposed the Roman Catholic Church for theological reasons; in recent years there has been limited political cooperation between individuals in each group on certain social issues, such as abortion. However, the relationships between Fundamentalist Christians and Catholics are still often strained due to historical/cultural perceptions and strongly divergent views on a number of theological issues.

From here

While the origin of the term “Fundamentalist” has a fairly simple history, the movement itself has a more confused origin. There was no individual founder, nor was there a single event that precipitated its advent. Of course, Fundamentalist writers insist that Fundamentalism is nothing but a continuation of Christian orthodoxy…..

….To meet the challenge presented by these developments, early Fundamentalist leaders united around several basic principles, but it was not until the publication of a series of volumes called The Fundamentals that the movement received its name….

….The fundamental doctrines identified in the series can be reduced to five: (I) the inspiration and what the writers call infallibility of Scripture, (2) the deity of Christ (including his virgin birth), (3) the substitutionary atonement of his death, (4) his literal resurrection from the dead, and (5) his literal return at the Second Coming.

From here

….The term “fundamentalism” came into existence at the Niagara Falls Bible Conference which was convened in an effort to define those things that were fundamental to belief. The term was also used to describe “The Fundamentals,” a collection of twelve books on five subjects published in 1910 by Milton and Lyman Steward. These two wealthy brothers were concerned with the moral and spiritual decline they believed was infecting Protestantism, and sought to restore the historic faith with a 12 volume call to arms that dealt with five subjects that latter became known as the five fundamentals of the faith: (1) Literal inerrancy of the autographs (the originals of each scriptural book); (2) the virgin birth and deity of Christ; (3) the substitutionary view of the atonement; (4) the bodily resurrection of Christ; (5) The imminent return of Christ. These twelve volumes were sent to “every pastor, evangelist, missionary, theological student, Sunday School Superintendent, YMCA and YWCA secretary.” In all, some 3 million copies were mailed out…….

……Unfortunately, any discussion of fundamentalism must deal with any number of misconceptions. It is often assumed that the Fundamentalist movement was Protestant, filled with unsophisticated rural country bumpkins, and appealed to the uneducated. But the reality, at least in the early years, was different. Belief in the fundamentals was not exclusively Protestant. A number of these beliefs were also held by Roman Catholics. In addition, the movement was primarily urban in its early form. The principle centers of strength for fundamentalism were Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Fort Worth, Denver, and Los Angeles. This movement was also closely associated with such prominent schools as Princeton Theological Seminary.

From here

Conservative group within Christianity which seeks to preserve the core of the religion and its impact on society.
Fundamentalism, as a religious movement, has its origins in America, but it has reached Europe in modern times. Fundamentalism has one major difference from traditional conservative Christianity: it purports to stand over against society which it claims has lost moral values. A traditional conservative orientation does not involve this severe critique of society.

From here

The term “Fundamentalist.”

One of the most controversial religious terms in North America is “fundamentalist.”

1. Within academic circles, the term is generally used in a precise manner. For example, Author Karen Armstrong defines fundamentalist movements as “embattled forms of spirituality, which have emerged as a response to a perceived crisis” – namely the fear that modernity will erode or even eradicate their faith and morality. 1 That concern is shared by Fundamentalist Christians, Jews, and Muslims, Sikhs, and others.
2. Within Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and other faiths, the media generally use the term to refer to the most conservative wing of the religion. For example, fundamentalist Christianity is often described as the most conservative wing of Evangelicalism.
3. However, sometimes the term is used as a general-purpose “snarl” word which is intended to denigrate a religious group, implying that they are intolerant or prone to violence.*In Christianity, the term fundamentalism is normally used to refer to the conservative part of evangelical Christianity, which is itself the most conservative wing of Protestant Christianity. Fundamentalist Christians typically believe that the Bible is inspired by God and is inerrant. They reject modern analysis of the Bible as a historical document written by authors who were attempting to promote their own evolving spiritual beliefs. Rather, they view the bible as the Word of God, internally consistent, and free of error.By the late 1930’s Christian fundamentalists had formed a sub-culture and had largely withdrawn from the rest of society. Following major revisions to Roman Catholic beliefs and practices during the Vatican II conferences in the 1960’s, the term “fundamentalist” started to be used to refer to Catholics who rejected the changes, and wished to retain traditional beliefs and practices.Thus it became a commonly used word to describe the most conservative groups within Christianity: both Protestant and Catholic.Back in the 1960’s many theologians and historians expected that religions would become less conservative and generally weaker with time. That did not happen. Instead, the fundamentalist wings of major world religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, have grown and become increasingly dedicated to preserving religious tradition. Karen Armstrong has addressed Fundamentalism in Christianity, Islam and Judaism in her book: “The Battle for God.1In the U.S., the Fundamentalist-led Moral Majority emerged to challenge social and religious beliefs and practices.

Today, Fundamentalists are the most vocal group, on a per-capital basis — who oppose abortion access, equal rights for homosexuals, same-sex marriage, protection  for homosexuals from hate crimes, physician assisted suicide, the use of embryonic stem cells for medical research, comprehensive sex-ed classes in public schools, etc.

The Assemblies of God is one Fundamentalist denomination. The Southern Baptist Convention has moved towards fundamentalism in recent years. Bob Jones University, the General Association of Regular Baptists, the Moody Bible Institute, etc.are also Fundamentalist.

Among the most generally known Fundamentalist Christian leaders are Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Hal Lindsey.

This article is pretty good opposing fundamentalism

But I would have to disagree with what it states about the racism, sexual restriction and subjugation of women {I’m talking about in the christian realm}.

Meaning I don’t agree or fall under those beliefs and not quite sure if the majority does either.

I guess I would have put me being a fundy but…

Maybe when it started out as an idea it was the just the few basic tenets that are stated above in red, but it has become twisted. I certainly believe in those 5 core items, but I don’t believe everyone else should believe them

Take this comment from above website,

“Fundamentalists cannot allow that to happen.  For them, people who believe and behave differently from them are wrong and “God does not like it, doesn’t tolerate it, and neither do God’s devoted followers.”

It’s also said that fundys know what the God’s will is for us, which to me is impossible. This statement that God doesn’t like it, doesn’t tolerate it…etc, is wrong also. God doesn’t like it, it says in His word, He does tolerate it, it says He is long suffering to His people, {but will not tolerate it forever} and God’s devoted {who of man is really fully totally devoted? …if they were then we would not need Christ} followers are to tolerate others and love them and etc.

 It’s all in scripture, but to know the scripture and follow it, one must BELIEVE the scripture. But I digress…

A major problem with fundamentalism is that fundamentalists believe they know Gods will for mankind.  Fundamentalists believe that they know the truth, that their understanding is 100% accurate and there can be no questioning it and no compromise.  Their position is “utterly non-negotiable.”    They believe they know what is right, wrong, moral, and immoral.  As Dr. Neilson notes, this arises from a tendency toward literalism.  Literalism, however, is used by fundamentalists as an excuse for the rigidity of their beliefs. (For more on this see the article Biblical Literalism)  They have been told that their beliefs are the truth because they are literal and directly from the Bible and therefore cannot be questioned.  There is only one interpretation of the Bible allowed and that is the one they have been taught.”

I would agree with this statement, major problem.

But now that I re~read this, The bible does state what Gods will is for man, doesn’t it? Maybe someone can throw somes verses at me to correct or agree with my assumption……

Has the word fundamentalist evolved?

Did it start out as knowing and following the fundamentals of religion [christianity] as in the scriptures and now has leaked over into democracy/government or twisted by sinful man?

I realize that there is tons of stuff on fundy~ism and of course I can not go over all of it here.

I did look at/read all the links I posted.

I probably did not do the word justice in musing about it either.

Please remember when you are commenting here, I am only focusing on christian fundamentalism and I only did this because I was wondering if I fell under its definition….

Blessings, Kristina

5 responses »

  1. Fundamentalism (or fundamentalist) is the second most misused word in the English vocabulary. The first being fascism. Luke warm religionists and those unassociated with religion (especially in the press) seem to associate anyone who takes their religious world view seriously with the label fundamentalist. To many “fundamentalist” has become a dirty word to tar and feather their opponents.

  2. I agree with the above statement. I think Alistair Begg said that a “Christian fantatic” was anyone who loved Jesus & took his Word more seriously than you do. The same goes for fundamentalism.

    I think reading some of Machen’s work would be helpful (especially Christianity & Liberalism). He’s often labeled a fundamentalist, despite not liking the title. That’s because he felt that it hinted at some sort of ‘new’ sect of Christianity. He was against the pietism as cure all attitude (no smoking, drinking, dancing, etc) and disliked the lack of concern for doctrine commonly associated with fundamentalism.

    However, his fight was not with fundamentalism, who stood by his side in the fight against modernism & liberalism, who kept the name Christian despite denying the Faith in favor of the winds of the age.

    I think he had a quote saying something to the effect of – ‘If by fundamentalism you mean I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, that Jesus Christ lived, died, and was physically resurrected, that he was God the Son, that He was born of the Virgin Mary, etc. – then yes I’m a fundamentalism. As soon as you add anything to this understanding (KJV only, etc.), then I cease to be one.’

  3. Thanks for a thorough and provocative post. I agree that the word is misused. I agree with it in its basic form. I believe in the fundamentals of Christianity. I think those who subscribe to the fundamentals of Islam cause lots of problems for the rest of us.

  4. Kris,

    I don’t know how I missed this. Good piece.

    Fundy is not a clearly defined term, but the idea that a group of people blindly accept not only the Bible but what certain evangelical leaders say the Bible means. In the South it’s pretty common.

    Inerrancy has come to mean not only believing the Bible to be inerrant, but also a certain interpretatioin of the Bible.

    I was going to do a post on inerrancy based on a scripture I read the other day in Acts. It struck me I had never noticed it before.

    If you look in the Bible you will see God’s individual will for us (not mankind) is what the Bible teaches we will know. There are plenty of people who forget how evil they truly are and have the audacity to think they know God’s will for everyone.

    They don’t.

  5. Brothers & Sisters,

    I joined a fundamentalist church solely because it was the only church in town that didn’t apologize for being Christian. And when I say fundamentalist I mean, five-point, Christ-praising, soulwinning, sin-hating, hard preaching, King James Bible-meditating “fundy.” Life has never been better, Amen!

    Sure, every group has its faults — every interpretation is subject to human error, and every church is subject to mass hypnosis by error.

    The “fundamentalist” outlook has greatly helped my life: I needed to be actively cleansed from sin and I am glad that I found a very active congregation that spreads the gospel regularly and looks good in doing so.

    Mind you, there are many good fundamentalists out there that are helping to bring word to change a lot of lives. Nice investigation in what this thing is. Keep on posting and praising God!

    — Pete
    ~~thank you, pete for your comments. fundy has taken on a bad taste when in the beginning it wasnt a bad thing. i think i might call myself a fundy but only the good parts. 😉
    i see you have a picture, do you have a blog?

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