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The Fundamentals of Fundamentalism
November 07, 2003
Visitors to this site often ask my why I identify myself as a fundamentalist. Truth be told there are a few reasons. So let me cover the fundamentals of fundamentalism.
- Fundamentalism has different meanings to different people. It is a word that crosses religious boundaries as there are, for example, both Christian and Muslim fundamentalists. Of course in North America we most often associate the word with a particular brand of conservative Protestantism.
- I originally began using the tag “Putting the Fun in Fundamentalism” after a person in an online community I am part of described me as “the guy who puts the fun in fundamentalism.” I was one of the Christian voices in that forum and earned a reputation as a fundamentalist because of my conservative Christian beliefs (also known as Calvinism).
- Fundamentalism is considered a bad word in our society. Make use of “fundamentalism” in a word association game and you would find that people associate fundamentalism with Jerry Falwell, Bob Jones, religious zealotry, the crusades and probably people like that “God Hates Fags” guy.
- Fundamentalism is not, at its roots, a bad thing. It has simply received (and possibly earned) a bad reputation. The core meaning of the word is “a return to fundamental principles and a strong or rigid adherence to these principles.” That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? People like Falwell have, unfairly, come to embody this word the same way that men like Paul Hill who kill doctors that perform abortions have (again, unfairly) come to represent the pro-life movement in people’s eyes.
- This leaves the question, then, of what are the fundamental principles to which I adhere? They are hardly revolutionary, being simply the five “solas” of the Reformation. Those are, of course:
- Scripture Alone
- Christ Alone
- Grace Alone
- Faith Alone
- Glory to God Alone.