Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Then You Might Be a Fundamentalist

What is a fundamentalist? Are you one? Would you like to be?

Although the media and popular speech refer to Muslim fundamentalists, I am not talking about them. Nor am I talking about people who are a bit slow. Fundamentalism is an historic Christian movement, even though it is difficult to define. Here is a helpful resource that contains this bit of history:

The term `fundamentalism' has its origin in a series of pamphlets published between 1910 and 1915. Entitled "The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth," these booklets were authored by leading evangelical churchmen and were circulated free of charge among clergymen and seminarians. By and large, fundamentalism was a response to the loss of influence traditional revivalism experienced in America during the early years of the twentieth century. This loss of influence, coupled with the liberalizing trends of German biblical criticism and the encroachment of Darwinian theories about the origin of the universe, prompted a response by conservative churchmen. The result was the pamphlets. In 1920, a journalist and Baptist layman named Curtis Lee Laws appropriated the term `fundamentalist' as a designation for those who were ready "to do battle royal for the Fundamentals."
There were five or six fundamentals or essentials of the faith. For fundamentalists, you were not Christian unless you upheld them. In the Presbyterian Church, a long drawn out battle over this finally resulted in this conclusion: You could be a Christian clergy person and not subscribe to these five fundamentals.

Are you a fundamentalist? Want to be? Take the following survey and find out for yourself! Good luck and keep smiling! Before you take the survey, you might want to scan the original pamphlet, "The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth."

If upon reading the articles in this pamphlet, you find yourself sick to your stomach, you probably are not a fundamentalist.

On the other hand, if you read this pamphlet and feel you have finally found the wisdom of God, then, by golly, you just might be a fundamentalist! Read on!

1) If you believe that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, or historically accurate, then you might be a fundamentalist.

2) If you believe that Jesus is Divine because his mother gave birth to him without having been impregnated by human sperm, then you might be a fundamentalist.

3) If you believe that Jesus' death on the cross is the penalty paid by him for the sin of humanity, then you might be a fundamentalist.

4) If you believe that Jesus' corpse came back to life, then you might be a fundamentalist.

5) If you believe that Jesus really performed all of those miracles and really is going to return to Earth to usher in the Kingdom of God, then you might be a fundamentalist.

BONUS: If you believe that it is essential for Christians and Christian ministers to hold these fundamental beliefs, then congratulations! You ARE a fundamentalist!

BUT...if you believe in perhaps one or two of them or even all of them for yourself, but do not believe they are essential for Christians or for Christian ministers, then, sorry, you ARE NOT a fundamentalist.

Thanks for playing!


  1. John,

    I would think that someone who feels it necessary for a person to accept the inerrancy of Scripture to be a Christian, doesn't truly understand the gospel.

    It's surely possible for someone to be culturally conservative, and just assimilated into church culture without "knowing the Lord."

  2. Hi Grace,

    Well I certainly agree with you on point one. But then, neither of us are fundamentalists.