nube's picture

I have been thinking a lot about fundamentalism and fundamentalists lately and IT SEEMS TO ME that the real problem with Fundamentalism--from a hermeneutical standpoint--is that it asserts a certain definite kind of authority over the scriptures, which insists that the bible must be true in this way (and not THAT way) if it is true at all. To me, who is not an expert, it seems as if fundamentalists are in danger of being like those learned men who know every jot and tittle very well, and believe that the inerrancy (and therefore truth) of scripture is to be found in the preservation and observation of those same tittles and jots.

Are there any practicing fundamentalists out there who are able to clarify for me better the way they understand the bible, and why they are fundamentalist? I know many good fundamentalists, but I have never been able to understand their position on the authority of the Bible, though I sense that they have a deep respect for the book and for the Lord. It is not my desire to attack fundamentalists but to understand them--please help me understand your position, so that we may commune with respect.

ElderDad's picture

Fundamentalist or Separatist


What you have described is Separatism, not Fundamentalism. Fundamentalism stresses the truth of Scripture, while Separatism stresses the separation to remain pure. Separatism, while encompassing many Fundamentalists, is not limited to Fundamentalists. But they surely do give Fundamentalism a bad name. Many Mormons are Separatists, but they certainly are not Fundamentalists. I'm pleased to see here at CCEL that Bible students who consider themselves theological Fundamentalists (Bible-thumping, Bible-quoting Fundamentalists) represent numerous backgrounds. They argue heatedly at times for their understanding of Scripture, but close with something along the lines of: "I disagree with you vehemently; but I love you unconditionally!"

Submitted as a poster,

Dave S.
Senior Moderator, Volunteers for Proofreading
2 Tim. 3:16--All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.