This study is based upon the premise that theological systems are good things, though they can be taken to extremes. Extremism in itself is not necessarily bad; but it becomes destructive when it prevents one from seeing or accepting any viewpoint other than his own.

It is our contention that some fundamentalists have become rigid in their thinking – in order to feel more secure and comfortable. To do so they have unthinkingly adopted a kind of "closed system" approach to theology – or an infallible syllabus of dogma as some would call it. Thus the fundamentalist extreme has made its own rules and regulations by which they measure truth or unbelief; instead of allowing the Bible itself to be the standard for measuring all things, as the Word of God reveals what is right and wrong on the doctrinal level and in the realm of morals, fundamentally (in the real meaning of the word) such a stance could hardly even be called fundamentalism at all. It would rather be a closed-mindedness approach which allows no room for growth or development, and this is what we find today – with many fundamentalists being afraid to learn anything new. They will point out they already know everything about the Bible there is to know and they often resort to proof texting, which is really nothing more than picking and choosing only the verses that fit one's preconceived ideas of what constitutes truth. This type of attitude defeats the very purpose and meaning of freedom in Christ Jesus, who set us free from the Law (Romans 8:2).

The adherence to a closed system is not only one of the most insidious aspects of fundamentalism, but perhaps also the most widespread, at least in American Christianity over the past fifty years. The first step, however, toward reaching this conclusion was to examine what elements constituted Christian fundamentalism. This process led us to ask whether these same traits are found in all fundamentalists. Finally, if some fundamentalists are lacking the most valuable parts of fundamentalism, then we should avoid speaking in such broad and stereotyped terms about the "fundamentalist" movement as a whole. In this way, we attempt to distinguish between fundamentalism as an idea and fundamentalism as an institution. The former refers to a focus on scriptural authority, while the latter describes a set of traditions, institutions, practices and attitudes that may or may not be consistent with those "fundamentals".

To begin with, there are some specifics that are distinctively part of our faith tradition today (by traditional definition). For instance, we believe that the Bible is the ultimate authority regarding salvation, the absolute truth, and the source of knowledge; we adhere to literal interpretation of Scripture as given without allegory or metaphor; we uphold the virgin birth of Jesus Christ; we regard His sinlessness during His earthly ministry; furthermore, we accept His death as vicarious substitution for our sins; we believe in His physical bodily resurrection; we affirm Jesus' ascension and coming back again; we proclaim the total depravity of mankind; and lastly, we believe man must be born again, that this renewal is done through the work of the Holy Spirit alone, resulting in sanctification, which leads ultimately to glorification (I John 2:29). These 10 basic tenets are fundamental to the Christian faith (and even the concept of the church altogether); however, it would seem that each of these precepts could be understood on different levels without a radical disconnect from reality. How many times have you heard someone say, "That doesn't make sense!" whenever they disagree with something scriptural? What about the fact that the verse was written for another time period with different historical, cultural, social, and political circumstances? In addition, often Bible verses have been interpreted outside the context in which they were originally written, therefore losing the true meaning and intention behind them. Lastly, there is much controversy surrounding different translations of the Biblde throughout history due to the amount of interpretive bias inherent in each edition as well as from internal contradictions within the books themselves. All these factors pose difficulty for individuals trying to decide how best to apply biblical teachings into their lives today - both personally and corporately - on issues ranging from politics through parenting all the way down to our diets!


In conclusion, it seems clear that there are positive aspects of Christian fundamentalism, but there are also some negative consequences associated with this approach to religious faith. On the one hand, adherents may experience security and stability in their views towards life because they’re convinced their beliefs are absolutely correct; on the other hand, however, followers’ lack of openness leads to an unwillingness to explore alternative opinions which could potentially improve understanding on various issues pertaining to doctrine.

The responsibility for changing such mindsets belongs primarily to ourselves individually. We cannot expect others within any organization—even one like Christianity —to begin reforming ways unless members actively seek out ways to grow intellectually as human beings first! As George Eliot once wrote so eloquently… "When we think oftener of what may be ours, we become blind to that which belongs equally to others." And thus we end up living in perpetual selfishness where our own gain takes precedence over all else. The core issue here appears rooted within human nature, according to Mr. Leo Tolstoy and others like him: “Each man must depend upon himself alone." Yet, hope exists still because humankind cannot exist forever at odds—there always remains possibility enough for positive change if only folks seek self-awareness honestly!

A lot more information can be found on the topic of Christian fundamentalism at