Links for:
PART 1-  The introduction
Part 2 –  the conception of fundamentalism


In the following article, quotes are in purple

And all highlights are mine

The word “FUNDAMENTALIST” was first coined in 1920 when Curtis Lee Laws, editor of the Watchman Examiner, defined Fundantalists as those ready, “to do battle royal for the fundamentals.”  The name helped to make Fundamentalism popular and it stuck.

Larry Pettegrew has succinctly described the historic use of the term “Fundamentalist”:
Actually, the term, “fundamentalist,” was first used of a movement in the July 1, 1920, issue of The Watchman Examiner. The editor, Curtis Lee Laws, was suggesting possible terms to describe a group of Bible-believing Baptists in the Northern Baptist Convention which was opposing a growing apostasy in the Convention. He concluded his search for a good name by saying: “We suggest that those who still cling to the great fundamentals and who mean to do battle royal for the fundamentals shall be called ‘Fundamentalists.‘ “

Fundamentalism is linked to a 12 volume set of books titled, THE FUNDAMENTALS.  The books were financed by oil baron Lyman Stewart.  From 1910 – 1915 three million books were sent free of charge to preachers, professors, and students.  The thing is those books left out both the doctrine of dispensation and the second coming of Jesus Christ.  If you do not believe in those two doctrines then you are not a fundamentalist.

The ninety essays were written by a wide range of authors, mainly from the United States, but also a large contingent from Canada and Britain. Most are theologians, most have higher degrees, and most are men (there is at least one woman author).

Many of the author’s names are still recognized for their foundational influences.

The essays are not strictly arranged, in part because of the way that they were issued as a series of tracts. They cover the following topics:

  • an overview of the bible
  • the inspiration and inerrancy of the bible
  • arguments against liberalism and higher criticism
  • basics of the Christian faith (sin, atonement, justification, grace)
  • denunciations of false churches
  • personal testimonies




The Fundamentals were written and distributed free of charge to incite pastors into doing battle royal against liberalism.  I am going to print out the table of contents for the 12 volumes because it will show you what the fundamentalists were fighting against in the early twentieth century

Table of Contents

  • Preface and Dedication
  • _The History of the Higher Criticism_, Dyson Hague
  • The Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch, George Frederick Wright
  • _The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism_, Franklin Johnson
  • The Bible and Modern Criticism, F. Bettex
  • Holy Scripture and Modern Negations, James Orr
  • Christ and Criticism, Robert Anderson
  • Old Testament Criticism and New Testament Christianity, W. H. Griffith Thomas
  • The Tabernacle in the Wilderness: Did it Exist?, David Heagle
  • The Internal Evidence of the Fourth Gospel, G. Osborne Troop
  • The Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament, William Caven
  • The Early Narratives of Genesis, James Orr
  • One Isaiah, George L. Robinson
  • The Book of Daniel, Joseph D. Wilson
  • The Doctrinal Value of the First Chapters of Genesis, Dyson Hague
  • Three Peculiarities of the Pentateuch, Which Are Incompatible with the Graf Wellhausen Theories of Its Composition, Andrew Craig Robinson
  • The Testimony of the Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures, George Frederick Wright
  • The Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures, M. G. Kyle
  • Science and Christian Faith,James Orr
  • _My Personal Experience with the Higher Criticism_, J. J. Reeve
  • The Inspiration of the Bible–Definition, Extent and Proof, James M. Gray
  • Inspiration, L. W. Mu




The difference between orthodoxy and fundamentalism is that orthodoxy looked to their denominational creeds and fundamentalism looked to the Bible.  The independent Baptist churches had no denominational ties to hold them.

England, in the 16th century, went through the same thing.  Puritans fought to make their denominations pure.  They figured that the best way to fight error and worldliness was to stay in their Church.  That didn’t work out and it will never work out because the Bible teaches separation.  




That is what the separatists in 16th century did.  They left the orthodox church and formed their own independent Church Which were mostly Baptist.  It wasn’t a decision they took lightly as it cost many their lives.

Here is a short article on separatists and puritans

Separatists, Puritan

Dictionary of American History
COPYRIGHT 2003 The Gale Group Inc.


SEPARATISTS, PURITAN. The Separatists, or Independents, were radical Puritans who, in the late sixteenth century, advocated a thorough reform within the Church of England. Dissatisfied with the slow pace of official reform, they set up churches outside the established order. Robert Browne gathered the first Separatist church at Norfolk, England, in 1581; later Separatists were dubbed “Brownists,” but the groups did not constitute an organized movement. In the main Separatists proposed a congregational or independent form of church polity, wherein each church was to be autonomous, founded upon a formal covenant, electing its own officers, and restricting the membership to “visible saints.” In England during the 1640s, the minority wing of the Puritan party maintained congregationalism against the majority in the Westminster Assembly and the Parliament, and were known as Independents, but the multitude of sects that arose out of the disorders of the time also took unto themselves the title of Independents, so that the term came to be a vague designation for opponents of Presbyterianism. Orthodox New England Puritans, although practicing a congregational discipline, always denied that they were either Separatists or Independents.

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And here is something about the Baptists

The First Known Baptist Congregations

The first known Baptist Congregation was formed by a number of these fleeing separatists in Amsterdam, Holland in 1608. It was largely made up of British persons led by John Smyth who along with Thomas Helwys, sought to set up the group according to New Testament patterns. As they saw it, it was important to ‘reconstitute’ and not just ‘reform’ the Church. There was emphasis placed on personal conversion and on baptism, which was to be given to individuals who had personally professed faith in Jesus Christ, that is, to believers only and on mutual covenanting between and among believers. Though taking some years to crystallize, the reconstituting efforts of Smyth, Helwys and others gave distinctive shape not only to the group’s belief and practice, but the various others which emerged from it. Some affiliated groups started when members of the Amsterdam group went back to Britain and took the name ‘Baptist’ to identify themselves. This had to do with the distinctive approach to the meaning and mode of baptism.


We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther and Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel under ground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.

—Charles H. Spurgeon


Soldiers of Fundamentalism marched across America in the early nineteen hundreds and it had liberalism broken and bloody.  As a boxer stands over his opponent waiting for him to get off the mat so he can finish him with one final crushing blow, so Fundamentalism was about to finish off Liberalism and win the fight of the century.  It didn’t happen.  Instead, in a united effort, Liberalism got an advantage that has never abated.

Ever since William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow stood toe-to-toe back in 1925 at the Scopes “Monkey Trial” Fundamentalists are considered bigoted, ignorant, and anti-education.  The media billed the trail as the fight of the century – Fundamentalism verses Liberalism, creation verses evolution.  Clarence Darrow was in his prime and he was razor sharp, wanting to cut Bryan to shreds – which he did.  William Jennings Bryan, at 65, was a seasoned fearless fighter of fundamentalism.  He had the heart of a ferocious lion, now toothless.

Bryan won that round but received deadly wounds from the verbal abuse that he took.  He died a week later.  Bruce L. Shelly, a professor of church history at Denver Seminary, tells us about that trial in his book, Church History in Plain Language,

“A press corps overwhelmingly hostile to Bryan’s point of view disgorged millions of words of coverage to a watching nation.  The image of a sweat-streaked Bryan wilting before the searing rational assault from Darrow maintains its overrated and largely undeserved place vas a symbol of the stupidity of Bible-believing American Christians.”

By the 1930’s fundamentalists had stopped fighting to keep the denominations pure and started to concentrate on building fundamental churches and schools.


Carl Mc Intire was the Presbyterian swordsman until his death in 2002.  Today, it is Ian Paisley, from Ireland, a free Presbyterian who – until his death in 2014 – carried on the Fundamentalist cause.  One of his famous sermons is titled Fundamentalism vs. Apostasy.
The distinction of loyalty to Fundamentalism since 1935 belongs mostly to the Independent, Christ loving, sin hating, separated, King James Bible believing Baptist Churches.  However, because we live in the Laodicea Church era with its constant fleshly, and ungodly subliminal, as well as in your face, vile, sin displayed as normal, not all independent churches are as separated and militant as they should be.  The Bible says in John 11:35 that Jesus wept.  I think Jesus, when He looks at many would be fundamental Baptist Churches today, that our Lord Jesus still weeps.


Baptist Fundamentalists have consistently held to the literal interpretation of Scripture that teach the immanent return of Christ, known as the pre-tribulation rapture.  They also hold to dispensations which divide the Bible up between Jew Gentile and the Church.  If you go to church on Sunday and not on Saturday then you are a dispensationalist.  Jesus told His apostles not to go to the gentiles (Matthew 10).  Why?  Because He came unto His own (John 1).  Jesus put a distinction between Jews and the rest of humanity.  It is only after His resurrection that we enter into the Church age, where “There is neither Jew nor Greek” (Galatians 3).  We become part of His Church only through the new birth (John 3).  It was C. I. Schofield and Clarence Larkin, who made these fundamental teachings household doctrines.


  1. I. Scofield D.D., a Presbyterian minister, published his notes in the Schofield Reference King James Bible 1909.


Clarence Larkin, a Baptist pastor, published DISPENSATIONAL TRUTH IN 1918.
Here is what Wikipedia has on him,
Larkin’s major publications were six: Dispensational Truth (or God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages); Rightly Dividing the Word; The Book of Daniel; Spirit World; Second Coming of Christ; and A Medicine Chest for Christian Practitioners, a Handbook on Evangelism.[1]

Dispensational Truth (or God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages), contains dozens of charts and hundreds of pages of descriptive matter. He spent three years designing and drawing the charts and preparing the text, which remains in print. It is a thoroughgoing defense of premillennialist dispensationalism that draws on the major themes found in the works of figures like C.I. Scofield, William Eugene Blackstone, and John Nelson Darby.

Because ‘Dispensational Truth’ had a large and wide circulation, the first edition was soon exhausted. It was followed by a second edition, and then, realizing that the book was of permanent value, Larkin revised it and expanded it, printing it in its present form of over 300 pages. Larkin followed this with other books: Rightly Dividing the Word; The Book of Daniel; Spirit World; Second Coming of Christ; and A Medicine Chest for Christian Practitioners, a handbook on evangelism.

Like C. I. Scofield, he postulated seven separate dispensations—the current being the “Dispensation of Grace,” “Church Dispensation,” “Ecclesiastical Dispensation,” or “Parenthetical Dispensation.” This position held that the church age filled a “gap” in the timeline of biblical prophecy.
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The works by both Scofield and Larkin are still highly recommended, though the Scofield notes have some serious errors.  Were it not for Scofield and Larkin Fundamentalism might not have been as unified in doctrine that it still is.  I can write that because today many Baptist do not use Larkin’s books and Baptists today are split on separation, the Bible being the preserved Words of God and what godly living is.  Fundamentalists believe obedience to God is top priority not success.  That’s because they know success must be God given not man manipulated.


Fundamentalism is linked to a 12 volume set of books titled, THE FUNDAMENTALS.  The books were financed by oil baron Lyman Stewart.  From 1910 – 1915 three million books were sent free of charge to preachers, professors, and students.  The thing is those books left out both the doctrine of dispensation and the second coming of Jesus Christ.  If you do not believe in those two doctrines then you are not a fundamentalist.

Fundamentalism has also been linked to five historical principles, Dr. Van Impee lists them in his book, HEART DISEASE IN CHRISTS BODY :

1] The inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture
2]  The deity of Jesus Christ
3]  The virgin birth of Christ
4] The substitutionary, atoning work of Christ on the cross
5] The physical resurrection and the personal bodily return of Christ to earth.

The thing is many believe all five of Dr. Van Impee’s list and yet they would never call themselves a fundamentalist, and would think it an insult to be even remotely linked to the movement. That’s because Brother Impee no longer believes in separation which is one of the columns of Fundamentalism.  Separation is what really started the whole movement.

Professor G. M. Marsden quotes Curtis Law in his recommended book, FUNDAMENTALISM AND AMERICAN CULTURE, as saying that Fundamentalism is “militantly anti-modernist protestant evangelism.”  An example of that can be found in the ministry of the following:

1] John Roach Straton 1874 – 1929
In 1918, Straton became the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City. Straton believed that preachers were prophets and it was their responsibility to expose society’s sins. He saw New York City as a leader in the moral and spiri­tual decay of America. He began immediately to expose what he believed were the consequences of this decay. He attacked the illegal sale of alcohol, prostitution, political corruption, the modern theatre, sexual immorality, and the modernism he believed was destroying the Northern Baptist Convention. However, Straton’s tactics were not without their drawbacks. The press often emphasized the negative and dramatic side of issues and neglected his positive redemptive message. Hos­tile journalists and cartoonists dipped their pens in acid and satirized Straton as “the Fundamentalist’s Pope,” the “Witch Doctor of Gotham,” and the “Meshuggah (Yiddish for crazy) of Manhattan.” Some disgruntled church members objected to his bold course and charged him with sensationalism.
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2] W. B. Riley 1861 – 1947
Riley invented the label “fundamentalist” and became the prime mover in the movement that took that name.  That year (1919) Riley brought together 6,000 conservative Christians for the first conference of an organization he founded, the World Christian Fundamentals Association (WCFA).  Riley warned delegates that mainline Protestant denominations were coming increasingly under the sway of modernism.  (EL, 36)  Riley urged them to stand by their traditional faith in the face of the modernist threat: “God forbid that we should fail him in the hour when the battle is heavy.”  For his own part, Riley led the effort to purge the Northern Baptist denomination of liberals. (PC, 67-68)

Although his Fundamentalist movement began as a reaction to the growing popularity of “higher criticism” (the view that the Bible is best understood in the distinct historical and cultural context which produced it), Riley soon identified the growing acceptance by modernist religious leaders of evolution as the infidelity most threatening to Christian values.  Riley made the teaching of evolution in the public schools his number one target.  Evolution, he declared, was the “propaganda of infidelity, palmed off in the name of science.” 
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  1. T. Sheilds 1873 – 1955
    Modernism is not Christianity diluted; it is Christianity denied. It is not a modification of the New Testament religion; it is absolutely anti-Christian from top to bottom!”
  2. F. Norris 1934 – 1947
    The height of Norris’s career came in the 1920s, when he became the leader of the fundamentalist movement in Texas by attacking the teaching of “that hell-born, Bible-destroying, deity-of-Christ-denying, German rationalism known as evolution” at Baylor University. Because of his attacks on Baylor and denominational leaders, Norris and his church were denied seats at the annual meetings of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 1922 and 1923.
  3. Frank Norris, the Texas tornado, simultaneously pastured First Baptist of Fort Worth Texas and Temple Baptist in Detroit Michigan. By 1946 the combined membership totaled 25,000. Dr. Norris was fearless in his war against liquor, modernism, and evolution.  He took on the enemy and like all great men who fear God more then any man he was both hated and loved with equal passion.

Those of the Southern Baptist Convention tried to destroy His ministry right along with the liquor crowd who were also attacking him.  Many times his life was threatened.  It got so bad that he had to kill a man in self-defense.  When that happened, many walked no more with him.  However, T. T. Sheilds, who had dealt himself into the Fundamentatist fight, just as Davy Crocket did at the Alamo, was one of the few who stood by him.

Dr. Norris tells us about Fundamentalism in a sermon he delivered in 1935 at Temple Baptist, Detroit.
I believe with all my soul that future generations will write about this Fundamentalist Movement as historians write about the Reformation and Wesley’s Revivals and other great awakinings ...”


Here follows some of my notes pretty much verbatim

It is now 2017 and a Fundamentalist preacher stands behind the pulpit, sweat trickles down his face.  His voice is strong, but there is a distinctive pleading sadness.  He holds high his King James Bible so all can see it.  he moans “if this country is to be blessed, it must get back to the Bible.  The Bible God uses to make this country great.  For a moment, it is quiet as death.  The Bible is still held above his head and the congregation sees it high and lifted up.  Then the silence breaks with a crack as he slams it hard on the pulpit, “If this King James Bible is true,” his words are armor piercing 30-caliber, aimed at each person’s heart, “Then why don’t you follow it?”  Why are you part of the Devils plan to destroy Christianity, why are you his useful idiots?


In order to do battle royal for the fundamentals we must have a standard.  We must have God’s final authority and we must all be agreed upon what that authority is.  If you are a fundamentalist soldier, you must be separated unto the King James Bible as your final authority.  It must convict you to do things God’s way and that way is separation from the world the flesh and the devil.  And for you who would be in agreement while supporting the modern bibles it also means being separated to the King James Bible as it is the last in a line of protestant Bibles which were translated from the Textus Receptus which was the catalyst God used for the building of the protestant era.


If God is tugging at your heart to be a sold out Christian fundamentalist, as Jesus was, why not right now make that commitment.


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