Skip to main content

Everyone knows that American Protestantism generally divided into fundamentalist and liberal camps in the 1920s. And many people know that fundamentalism derives from The Fundamentals, early-twentieth-century tracts that reduced the rich doctrinal heritage of Christianity down to five points of do-or-die orthodoxy. Neither of these putative facts, however, is true. This paper shows that The Fundamentals were not fundamentalistic in either respect and that they instead represent the broad mainstream of Anglo-American evangelicalism that continues to this day: not merely conservative, not fundamentalist, and certainly not liberal. John G. Stackhouse, Jr., holds the Samuel J. Mikolaski Chair of Religious Studies at Crandall University, Moncton, Canada. The author wishes to thank the extraordinarily assiduous and sapient reviewers marshalled by the editor to assist him in the revision of this article.

Arguably among the most famous American religious works of the twentieth century, The Fundamentals (1910-1915) gave its name to the movement whose implications are with us to this day. Paradoxically, however, The Fundamentals gave only its name to that movement. This series of small books does not, in fact, reflect the outlook nor the doctrine that would soon be characteristic of American fundamentalism. It does not, in fact, set out the famous Five Points with which it is often credited, including by the tribune of the contemporary vox populi, Wikipedia.1 Instead, The Fundamentals represents the broad mainstream of Anglo-American evangelicalism flowing out of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. This mainstream might have appeared to submerge beneath the currents of fundamentalism, but it surfaced again into public attention a generation later as, indeed, evangelicalism: as authentic, vital, and missional Protestantism—not merely a kinder, gentler form of fundamentalis.2

Union oil magnate Lyman Stewart expected a great deal from The Fundamentals. He and his brother Milton paid for the publication and distribution of over three million volumes of the twelve-book set, each of which contained a dozen or so articles, and Lyman Stewart intended it to perform a great work.3 The Fundamentals, he wrote, were to make “a new statement on the fundamentals of Christianity.”4 Published between 1910 and 1915, the booklets present testimonies to the truth of orthodox Christianity in the face of perils posed to it by Biblical criticism, liberal theology, evolutionary theory, and other modern intellectual menaces. Stewart believed that “the spiritual welfare of the present generation requires it; the safety of foreign missions demands it. It is a work that will count for both time and eternity.”5 So the books were sent free to English-speaking pastors, theological professors, missionaries, and other Christian leaders throughout the world in the hope of stemming what the Stewarts saw to be a toxic liberal tide.

The attempt of The Fundamentals to defend orthodox Protestantism against intellectual enemies, however, received mixed reactions indeed. The editors of The Fundamentals wrote of their cheer in receiving over two hundred thousand letters from approving readers.6 Historian Ernest Sandeen reports that most of these were merely letters of thanks or changes of address.7 He goes on to note that “the publication of this ‘testimony’ . . . produced scarcely a ripple in the scholarly world and had little impact upon biblical studies and theology.”8 Furthermore, as historian William Hutchison adds, many popular journals also ignored The Fundamentals and, as we shall see, histories of fundamentalism provide further evidence that The Fundamentals was not very important even to the movement that took its name from them—let alone to the larger culture.9

Were The Fundamentals therefore a failure? And why has The Fundamentals been cited for decades as setting out the definitive fundamentalist creed when it does no such thing? To answer these two questions, we must ask two others, answers to which will shed considerable light on the character of American Protestantism in the first quarter of the twentieth century.

The first question is: Did The Fundamentals adequately meet the liberal theological challenge? Or did it satisfy its evangelical audience, even if it was not somehow worthy of scholarly attention? The second question is: Did The Fundamentals truly represent fundamentalism, or was it theologically—and perhaps polemically—unworthy of popular fundamentalist attention? The two questions coalesce in a third: Which version of Protestant Christianity did The Fundamentals actually represent and how well did it do so? Attention to what The Fundamentals says, what it doesn’t say, and how it says what it says will point to its usefulness not as a guide to fundamentalism—the radicalized version of evangelicalism at odds with modernism, the radicalized version of liberalism—but to the mainstream of Anglo-American evangelicalism.

I. Intellectual, but Not Au Courant 

Despite the virtual silence from the academic community which greeted it, The Fundamentals presented a considerable academic pedigree. Lyman Stewart intended to enlist “the best and most loyal Bible teachers in the world” and, while this “world” was limited by “contemporary prejudices and Stewart’s own bias” to the Anglophone community (as Sandeen drily points out), he enlisted many who fit his description.10 Scholars wrote from theological schools as distinguished as Princeton, Chicago, McCormick, Oberlin, and Wycliffe and Knox (Toronto). Most of the writers held graduate degrees and a majority held doctorates of divinity or philosophy. Among the most luminous authors were B. B. Warfield of Princeton Theological Seminary, Scottish Presbyterian scholar James Orr, Plymouth Brother and renowned Scotland Yard detective Sir Robert Anderson, and Southern Baptist professor E. Y. Mullins. Clearly, The Fundamentals could not be written off summarily as the work of ignorant or incompetent men.

These writers addressed five main issues in their rebuttal of theological liberalism: higher criticism of the Bible; the relationship of science and religion; contemporary philosophies and other religions; religious experience; and theology. One immediately notes that these five themes only overlap with, and do not directly correspond to, the putative Five Points of Fundamentalism: the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, the Virgin Birth of Christ, orthodox soteriology, the historicity of Jesus’s resurrection and ascension, and the reality of miracles in the ministry of Jesus. (The source of these mythical Five Points is likely, but not certainly, the five-point statement of the “Doctrinal Deliverance of 1910” by the Presbyterian General Assembly. We will trace the tortured lineage of this myth below.)11 Let us look, then, to the arguments put forward in The Fundamentals, arguments that indicate that this work offered intelligent writings, but in some crucial respects not contemporary writings. They reflect a worldview more characteristic of the evangelical rank-and-file as they fail to recognize, let alone engage, leading academic concerns of the time.12

The Fundamentals made its strongest case in its challenge to the conclusions of German higher critics of Scripture. Several articles made it quite clear, first, that higher criticism of a reverent, or at least unbiased, point of view yielded useful information to the Bible student.13 This is a key point, as the generic term “higher criticism” became associated with liberal views of the Bible in liberal and conservative circles alike. The writers of The Fundamentals quarreled only with those critics who, in their view, misused higher criticism to arrive at unorthodox conclusions.

The discussions ranged over the Biblical material but centered on the JEDP theory of the origin of the Pentateuch—namely, that the first five books of the Bible were not authored by Moses but were in fact tissues of various documents written and then edited together over centuries. The eminent German scholar Julius Wellhausen was the chief villain of this piece, and author after author pounded away at his theories. The Fundamentals marshaled archaeological evidence for the existence of cities, events, and persons Wellhausen had denied existed.14 In particular, the ancient Israelite tabernacle and its sacrificial system were shown to have existed long before Wellhausen’s purported “Priestly code” (the “P” of JEDP) was supposed to have been written.15 Above all, the articles championed the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, even though some allowed for passages not directly written by Moses.16 The Fundamentals also defended the unity of the prophetic books attributed to Isaiah and Daniel (as well as Daniel’s “early date”) and occasionally vouched for the historicity of other Old Testament books along the way.17

Curiously, few authors concerned themselves with defending the traditional views of the authorship of New Testament books (though there is an occasional recognition of some dispute about this matter), or the historical reliability of the Gospel according to John—critical issues which arose at least half a century before they wrote, but which were not widely contested in evangelical circles.18 Nevertheless, the eminent historian of modernist Christianity William Hutchison concludes that Biblical criticism was “the one issue on which they did meet liberals on their own ground,” and the authors of these articles could satisfy themselves with their demolition of some of the bold conclusions of the higher critics.19 They also could be pleased with their bringing to light the rationalistic and evolutionistic presuppositions of these critics—the presuppositions which skewed their work and gave higher criticism its odium among traditional believers.20

What The Fundamentals did not do, however, was to set out a positive model for the proper practice of “reverent” higher criticism. The conservatives spoke clearly about what they did not like in the liberals’ method but said little about what they should like to see in its stead. They rather assumed that the “science” of historical criticism—if pursued without naturalistic prejudice—would yield information that would not detract from the authority of Scripture.

With this last sentence we face the question of why all this effort over higher criticism was expended. The Fundamentals evidences two chief concerns. Sir Robert Anderson touched on them both as he saw this misuse of higher criticism to have “dethroned the Bible in the home, and the good, old practice of ‘family worship’ is rapidly dying out….[Moreover,] the dethronement of the Bible leads practically to the dethronement of God.”21 This “dethronement” of the Bible necessarily takes place, in the worldview of The Fundamentals, if criticism shows it to be at all mythological or parabolic where it “appears” to be historical. This view stems from the nineteenth-century common-sense view of truth that these scholars shared.22 For them the Bible is univocally true (historically and scientifically as well as religiously), or it is univocally false. Fiction (that is, any myth or parable that “looks” like history, rather than myths and parables clearly ascertainable as such) equals falsehood, and God could never teach human beings (spiritual) truth by (historical) falsehood.23 Therefore, the historicity of the Bible stands at the foundation of its spiritual authority.

The second reason The Fundamentals defended the historicity of the Bible is that Christ himself testified to it and as God Incarnate he could not lie or make a mistake. This common-sense view of truth does not allow for any significant sort of “accommodation” theory—that Christ accommodated his teachings even to errors in the worldview of his hearers—such as misunderstandings of geography or history. Nor does this Christology allow for “kenōsis” of much extent, such as the idea that as a human being Jesus could be honestly mistaken.24 No, for Christ to teach spiritual truth he must teach historical truth too—in this case, truth about the authorship and historicity of the Old Testament.25 For these Christians, revelation from God cannot be “kenotic” in any radical sense—whether in Christ or in the Bible.

The Fundamentals concluded, therefore, that the modern rationalistic approach to Scripture was not merely impious in its conclusions but unscientific in its method. It rejected the common-sense interpretation of Scripture to make the Scriptures and Christ himself say things they “clearly” did not mean.26

With these concerns in mind the preponderance of articles defending the historicity (and thus reliability) of Scripture is understandable. Less understandable, however, is the lack of sustained discussion of the relationship between science and orthodoxy since there were many conflicts over this issue in the incipient fundamentalist-modernist controversy.

On this point, however, The Fundamentals present a variety of opinions—and about evolution in particular. An anonymous “Occupant of the Pew” railed against the “evolutionary theory” as bad science and worse theology.27 Henry H. Beach rebutted at some length T. H. Huxley’s article on evolution in the Encyclopedia Britannica, but his discussion is calm, clear, and reasonable.28 George Frederick Wright went further to note the variety of theories of evolution in the scientific community and to claim that a theory of evolution limited to biological species was compatible with Christianity.29 Finally, James Orr allowed that evolution might well be creation “from within” and that God simply chose to leap the evolutionary gaps between inorganic and organic matter, organic matter and conscious matter, and consciousness and rationality, morality, and personality.30 Indeed Orr allowed that all sciences have their proper sphere of inquiry and do not threaten Christian theism nor the Biblical account of creation or miracles. Natural causes cannot be proved “to exhaust all causation in the universe”—so theism cannot be disproved.31 Moreover, the Bible describes events phenomenologically, not scientifically—hence there is no necessary contradiction between scientific description and Scriptural description.

A. M. Pitzer, like Orr, recognized the unity of God’s revelation in nature, in the Bible, and in Christ:

The Christian does not look with dismay upon these researches into Nature, these discoveries of Science; on the contrary, he hails with joy each new discovery as affording additional evidence of the wisdom, power, and goodness of God. Full well does he know that the facts written on the rock leaves beneath, the star depths above, and the pages of Inspiration, when properly understood and interpreted, will be found to be in exact and perfect accord, showing forth the glory of the Infinite Writer of them all. There is no controversy between the man of faith and the man of wisdom, provided each one acts in his proper sphere. There is not, and never has been, any real conflicts between interpretations of Scripture and interpretations of the facts of Nature; but what God has written in His Word never conflicts with what God has written in His Creation.32

This variation in opinions about the threat or boon of science to orthodoxy reflects an ambivalence among conservatives about the new cosmology of flux—of “becoming” instead of “being” taking hold in the world: one which replaced their stable, Enlightenment view of things, which they thought posed no threat to their understanding of the faith.33 Orr and Pitzer seem to have made the transition to a broad historical consciousness without much trauma, even as many of their colleagues did not like what they saw in “Darwinism.” These men were happy to speak positively of “science” and “the scientific method”34 —even to challenge unbelievers to replicate (as in a laboratory) without prayer the financial success of George Müller’s famous orphanages!35 But the modern evolutionary ideas—in science as well as in biblical criticism and liberal theology—conflicted so radically with the older static “world” of the conservatives that they seemed to fly in the face of reason: to be, in short, “unscientific.”36

The Fundamentals paid little attention, third, to contemporary philosophy, and only slightly more to contemporary religions.37 Thomas Whitelaw briefly outlined the possible responses to the question, “Is there a God?” and reasoned that the responses of the atheist, agnostic, materialist, and “(Bible) fool” were logically and experientially deficient. Beyond this negative summary, the famous British preacher G. Campbell Morgan was willing to acknowledge that

we have had such remarkable teachers as Zoroaster, Buddha, Confucius; men speaking many true things, flashing with light, but notwithstanding these things a perpetual failure in morals and a uniform degradation of religion has been universal. The failure has ever been due to a lack of final knowledge concerning God.

The relationship of Christianity to these religious alternatives was one of completion to propaedeutic:

Christ comes not to contradict the essential truth of Buddhism, but to fulfill it. He comes not to rob the Chinaman of his regard for parents, as taught by Confucius, but to fulfill it, and to lift him upon that regard into regard for the One great Father, God.38

Mostly, however, The Fundamentals viewed other philosophies or religions with uniform and extreme hostility. Philip Mauro, a lawyer and not a scholar of philosophy, was inexplicably chosen to write the only full-length article devoted to “Modern Philosophy.” In it, Mauro enlists William James’s famous Hibbert Lectures of 1909 to blast the “monism” of contemporary English and American philosophy.39 This pernicious influence, which Mauro had detected in “our universities, colleges, and seminaries,” would incur God’s wrath upon the righteous nations he had made: Britain and America.40 The “very existence of Christian civilization” was at stake.41 Having enlisted James’s criticism, however, Mauro does not discuss the merits of James’s own philosophy. There is no indication in the essay, in fact, that he had read anything else by James besides these lectures, or any of the philosophy that James and he so roundly condemn.

Mauro’s article is shrill and superficial, but the articles discussing the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Christian Scientists, Modern Spiritualists, and Roman Catholics compete with it in extravagances of rhetoric and paucity of sympathy.42 Each of these articles makes clear only where the religion in question departs from the orthodox truth (giving no credit for the truth it does contain) and condemns it with the testimony of (properly interpreted) Scripture.

Thus in its interaction with contemporary philosophy and religion, this conservative outlook shows itself to be utterly different from the pluralistic appreciation of the other religions evident in the growing discipline of Religions- geschichte (“history-of-religions”).43 While defending its conception of the truth, this conservative world does not use insights gleaned from other worldviews or disciplines; it manifests an “ecumenical spirit” restricted to like-minded conservatives in other Christian denominations; and it does not appreciate the historical limits upon one’s perception of the truth. Truth in this thought-world is univocal and absolute, vouchsafed by revelation understood on the basis of an elementary Lockean common-sense philosophy.

In this view, furthermore, there is an inescapable moral implication in persistent error. If one does not see the evident truth, it must be because one refuses to see it. This view of the perspicuity of truth perhaps helps to explain at least some of the anger evident in some of these articles. The anger might have been stoked by fear of the damage these errors might wreak among innocent souls. But there might also have been anger that these other religions and their proponents must not be just wrong, but stubborn—which is to say, evil. These matters arise again fundamentally in our discussion below of the fifth issue, theology.

There was one scholarly interaction with contemporary philosophy, actually, which introduces the fourth issue, that of Christian experience. E. Y. Mullins invoked the new philosophy of Pragmatism in “The Testimony of Christian Experience.”44 The philosophies of Materialism and Idealism, Mullin suggests, reductionistically shear off aspects of human experience and pronounce the remainder the totality. Christianity alone, by contrast, explains all of human experience. Moreover, as one experiences the life-transforming power of Christ, one will believe in the deity of Christ and the miracles he worked.45 Finally, Mullins issues the pragmatic challenge:

Now the Christian method throughout is the practical method of answering the question, “What must I do to be saved?” Its answer is in Christian experience. It says to every man, You can test the reality and power of Christ practically….Christ does not say renounce reason but only waive your speculative difficulties in the interest of your moral welfare.46

Mullin’s article, furthermore, was not the anomaly in The Fundamentals that some have thought it to be.47 His explicit endorsement of the relatively new philosophy of Pragmatism does distinguish him from his fellow writers, and Mullins intellectually employed the data of experience as no one else did in the series. Nevertheless, as George Marsden remarks (in quite another context), the movement represented by The Fundamentals “was still close to the days of D. L. Moody” and was very much in line with the good old Enlightenment appeal to the evidence of experience so common in the generation of Jonathan Edwards, John Newton, and John Wesley.48 The testimony meeting still counted for a good deal among these people, and four of the early volumes of The Fundamentals conclude with personal testimonies of such notable Christians as missionary C. T. Studd and the vicar of St. Paul’s, London, H. W. Webb-Peploe.49 To these were added “A Message from Missions,” “The Testimony of Foreign Missions to the Superintending Providence of God,” and even “Tributes to Christ and the Bible by Brainy Men not Known as Active Christians.50 The movement that endlessly reformulated and defended “statements of faith” also sang, “You ask me how I know He lives—He lives within my heart.” Mullins notably drew the two streams of reason and experience together in his article, but for the reader to ignore the broad stream of testimonial evidence offered elsewhere in The Fundamentals is to miss a large part of its defense of the faith.

To the critical reader, however, all of these accounts of Christian experience beg the question of the uniqueness of Christian experience—the question their contemporary William James so eloquently raised.51 Muslims, for instance, declare the Qur’an to be the Word of God in terms often identical to those used by the conservative Christians to defend their Bible. Beauty, the power to humble and to convert, lofty ideals—all of these mark out the Divine Book.52 But which Divine Book? The world of The Fundamentals again appears to be a world limited to middle-class Anglophone Protestantism. In this world positive religious experience has but one referent: the God of Jesus Christ. The radical pluralism of James’s varieties of religious experience is not even recognized, much less addressed.

Finally, and most importantly, we come to the issue of theology. It is here that The Fundamentals’ effort to answer the surging waves of liberal theological innovation startlingly amounted to only a couple of articles and the slightest of passing comments.

John L. Neulsen wrote the single article on Christology.53 In it he attempts to reduce to absurdity the religionsgeschichtlich portrayal of Jesus as the product of Babylonian mythology. He draws a parallel between the case of religious historians and the case of a future investigator of Theodore Roosevelt. Neulsen concludes that this “history-of-religions” procedure—characterized by conjecture based on dubious similarities and parallels with other cultures—would render Roosevelt as mythological as Christ. Napoleon Neulsen also challenges the liberal Christ of the eminent German historians and Bible scholars Adolf von Harnack, William Wrede, Otto Pfleiderer, and Wilhelm Bousset (the only time Wrede and Pfleiderer are mentioned in the whole series). This Christ Neulsen judges to be little improvement over that of the “old rationalists”—except that these recent liberals don’t trouble themselves over the Gospels the way their predecessors did. They just dismiss the Gospels as unhistorical without bothering to explain them away. But this Christ who is less than God cannot satisfy the human need for God, as the liberals themselves recognized. Indeed, says Neulsen, the testimony of even modern infidels is that a human being “needs and wants exactly the Christ of the church and the Gospels,” and therefore of orthodoxy, “or no Christ at all.”54 Neulsen does not, unfortunately, tell us how to identify the true Christ: the orthodox God-man or the liberal man-pointing-to-God. He just wants to strip away the “Christian” label from the liberals. The “right” choice, apparently, is clear from there—clear even from the point of view and according to the expressed desire of “modern man.” (Again, presumably, those who now do not see the truth of orthodoxy must be refusing to see it.)

Two other articles touch on the limitations of liberal Christology and theological method. J. J. Reeve comments only in passing on the Christology of liberal- ism—of the rationalism of the German higher critics in particular. This theology, says Reeve, treats Christ patronizingly and not as the living Lord of life:

Jesus Christ is politely thanked for his services in the past, gallantly conducted to the confines of His world and bowed out as He is no longer needed and His presence might be very troublesome to some people. Such a religion…may be a cultured and refined heathenism with a Christian veneer, but yet a genuine heathenism.55

David James Burrell evaluates three “roads to God” travelled by the unorthodox: intuition, reason, and the five senses. He finds them helpful for other kinds of knowledge but not for knowledge of God. This knowledge, he asserts, is found only in the revelation of God in Christ—with a celebration of whom he quickly closes his article, without any explanation of how we are to receive and understand revelation. Again, an elementary common-sense worldview obtains.56

Apart from these short instances (in twelve volumes totaling well over 1,400 pages), The Fundamentals does not address the fundamental questions of liberal theology. Central of all is the difference between the historicism of the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the static absolutism of the earlier Enlightenment. The Fundamentals rarely recognizes any difference, first, between one’s understanding of Scripture and the teaching of Scripture itself.57 This common-sense view of interpretation does not recognize even the possible validity of other interpretations. Significant it is, perhaps, that nowhere does The Fundamentals defend its particular understanding of Christianity in terms of the historic teachings of—well, of anyone: of the Puritans, of the Reformers, of Augustine, of anyone. No, the evangelical understanding of the faith simply equals, one to one, the teaching of the Scriptures. Anyone can understand the univocal Word of God through the straightforward, “scientific” study of the Bible that Charles Hodge advocated and of which Isaac Newton presumably would have approved.58

This confidence in the stable clarity of the world and of the Bible helps to explain the overall antipathy toward anything smacking of evolution—whether in biology or in historical criticism (even as James Orr was allowed to represent the left wing of evangelicalism as he wrote guardedly but approvingly of both biological evolution and historical criticism).59 The Biblical revelation is a fixed entity—as the world is. It was given directly by God effectively without mediation—as the world was. Flux, change, and development are strictly limited within the general order of things.

Other religions and philosophies may, by God’s grace, have some light to shed on spiritual matters. Only Christ, however, provides sufficient light to see the way clear to God. Authentic religious experience unambiguously points to Christ and his gospel. More importantly, the Bible speaks clearly of its own uniqueness and of Christ’s. Truth, again, is not relative to a situation or a people. God speaks only truth, and only absolutely: “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Other faiths should look to Christian orthodoxy for it alone has sufficient and all-encompassing truth.

The Fundamentals, therefore, continues to represent the common-sense world in which orthodoxy nicely fit versus the emergent world of historical consciousness and constant change that seemed, at least to many, to favor the liberal approach. The Fundamentals did not even recognize many of the crucial problems posed by and confronting the liberal theology of the other world except for those, like the historicity of the Old Testament, that they could deal with on their own terms. Names such as F. D. E. Schleiermacher, F. C. Baur, and Ernst Troeltsch—giants of an entire century of liberal theology—did not even register in these pages. The Fundamentals were mostly intelligent defenses of the faith, but they were refighting old battles, using old weapons, on old fronts, within their own old world. The new world of liberal theology spun on virtually unscathed.60

II. Orthodox, but Not Fundamentalist

The Fundamentals did not aim at, and thus failed to warrant, scholarly attention. How well, then, did it speak to its own world of mainstream evangelicalism? Did it serve at least as a rallying point for the later battles?

Some historians of fundamentalism have credited The Fundamentals with articulating a clear-cut theological platform that gave identity to the new movement. Early historian of fundamentalism Stewart G. Cole (1931) speaks of the “far-reaching influence” of The Fundamentals whose publication marked “the clear emergence of fundamentalism.”61 Historian Norman Furniss (1954) brought together Cole’s estimate of The Fundamentals’ importance and Cole’s mythical “Five Points” of fundamentalist doctrine62 to credit The Fundamentals themselves with reducing the “conservatives’ creed…to [these] clear essentials.”63 Historian Louis Gasper (1963) identified these chief five plus four other doctrines as the foci of The Fundamentals.64 Television evangelist Jerry Falwell, leader of the fundamentalist resurgence into American political life in the 1980s, wrote that the “major contribution [of The Fundamentals] was the identification of the ‘five points’” (1981).65 While not subscribing to the “five points” myth, historian Douglas Sweeney (2005) claims that “The Fundamentals soon became a standard of ‘fundamentalism.’”66 Historians Matthew Sutton (2014) and Timothy Gloege (2015) suggest that The Fundamentals provided a “totem” for the emerging coalition of fundamentalists, and even that seems to go rather too far.67

Unfortunately for this venerable heritage of interpretation, The Fundamentals nowhere speaks of “five points,” nor does it list any similar “conservative creed” as a canon. Rather, it is merely a collection of discrete articles on particular subjects—none of which themes are explicitly elevated above the others by authors or editors. Indeed, if The Fundamentals had in fact set out such a concise doctrinal standard, it might well have been championed by succeeding fundamentalists, and it was not.

The Fundamentals did not in fact exercise much influence on the emerging phenomenon of radical, militant evangelicalism, soon to be known as fundamentalism. It bequeathed, in fact, only its title and its mailing list to the emerging phenomenon of fundamentalism. Curtis Lee Laws was an early promoter of The Fundamentals and doubtless had it in mind when he coined the term “fundamentalist” in 1920.68 Marsden’s book (1980), still the definitive study of fundamentalism, declares The Fundamentals to be important chiefly as “a symbolic point of reference for identifying a ‘fundamentalist movement.’” But Marsden also indicates that The Fundamentals not only identifies this group but also points to a specific period in its emergence: a “transitional” time of “moderation.”69 I suggest, instead, that The Fundamentals testifies to the outlook of mainstream evangelicalism that would be radicalized in fundamentalism’s quest for purity and correctness.

Historian George W. Dollar, a self-confessed fundamentalist, provides a further clue as to The Fundamentals’ lack of influence among later, true fundamentalists. In his discussion of the period in which The Fundamentals was produced, Dollar distinguishes between “Orthodox” and “Fundamentalist” writers.70 The Orthodox he describes as doctrinally sound as far as they went, but they did not reject liberal thought thoroughly enough nor did they specify a doctrinal stand precisely enough. That is, compared with the true “Fundamentalists,” the Ortho- dox maintained a broader, more comprehensive doctrinal position that allowed for greater latitude of belief. Thus, writes Dollar,

the Orthodox would have held tenaciously to “The Fundamentals,” so-called…; Fundamentalist fellowships never used this as a complete statement of their faith, since literalism in prophecy, imminency of the Lord’s Coming, and a premillennial stand are not found in them.71

Dollar is writing in overly broad strokes. “Literalism in prophecy,” while not a major theme of the series, is nevertheless behind much of the apologetics for the Old Testament in The Fundamentals (e.g., a “late date” for Daniel would not matter so much if it were not literal prophecy), and especially clear in Arno C. Gaebelein’s article touting “Fulfilled Prophecy a Potent Argument for the Bible.” Moreover, “the imminency of the Lord’s Coming” is clearly taught in articles such as “The Hope of the Church” and “The Coming of Christ.”72 But Dollar’s main point should not be missed: The Fundamentals left out too much to please the “true” fundamentalist. Or perhaps it included too much. It did not endorse premillennialism alone, but rather allowed for both post- and premillennialism as viable biblical options.73 It did not condemn all higher criticism: it allowed for a “reverent” higher criticism. It did not uniformly denounce biological evolution: it allowed for evolution as a method used by God. It was inclusively evangelical—what Dollar calls “Orthodox”—not strictly fundamentalist.

This sort of qualification and even occasional ambivalence in The Fundamentals did not square with the precise and rigid world of the fundamentalists. “A place for everything and everything in its place” could have been its motto. To change the metaphor, the eclectic evangelical bill of fare The Fundamentals offered could not satisfy the common-sense “hunger for wholeness” as could the straightforward, meat-and-potatoes theology of fundamentalism.74 This broad array of sometimes carefully nuanced discussions did not draw the lines boldly enough and did not satisfy the fundamentalist yearning for solid and clear-edged truth.

Moreover, the fundamentalist champion eager for an authoritative shibboleth by which to judge the true and the false would be maddened by the spectrum of opinions and qualifications represented in The Fundamentals. He would recognize many of his cherished beliefs therein, but he would miss the strategic reduction of Christian ideas to a sharpened few—so useful for the mortal combat of the 1920s. In sum, The Fundamentals wasn’t nearly fundamentalistic enough, and so true fundamentalists ignored it.75

III. Beneath the Waves

The Fundamentals was meant to defend orthodoxy against liberalism, and especially its most virulent strain, modernism. It was aimed at the faithful and perhaps the wavering, not the apostate. Indeed, as Gloege affirms, The Fundamentals was never meant to make inroads into the liberal camp.76

The Fundamentals thus represented the mainstream of evangelicalism in America, a stream into which flowed many tributaries representing millions of people: traditional believers in large pluralistic denominations such as the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.), the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, and the main Baptist conventions (recalling that the conservative purge of the Southern Baptist Convention did not occur for half a century); most members of the Christian Reformed Church and Reformed Church in America; most Anabaptists; the members of Holiness denominations; and more—including dispensationalist evangelicals who resisted the divisive militancy of fundamentalism.77

Writers in The Fundamentals such as Charles Erdman of Princeton Theological Seminary and E. Y. Mullins of Southern Baptist Seminary represented, that is, the many Christians opting to remain in denominations “tainted” with liberalism rather than join divisive fundamentalist denominations or factions within denominations.78 While fundamentalism divided seminaries, missionary agencies, and churches, then to construct its own alternate institutional structures, most evangelicals remained where and as they were.79 Ironically, the work most representative of this coalition, The Fundamentals, left its name to the militant hardliners even as the consensus and compromise it actually articulated remained among the evangelicals avoiding the agonies of ecclesiastical combat.

Publicly, that is, the American ecclesiastical debate might have seemed to reduce to a two-party system in what Martin E. Marty has called a “tyranny of limited alternatives.80 Yet orthodox believers either remained within conservative enclaves relatively untouched by the controversy (like the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, prayer-book Episcopalian congregations, and isolationist Anabaptists), or they refrained from doctrinal and political crusades in order to focus on traditional evangelical concerns, evangelism foremost among them. The Scopes Trial of 1925 might have grabbed most of the headlines, with fundamentalists, modernists, and outright skeptics commanding the microphones. Evangelicalism as represented by The Fundamentals, however, carried quietly on—to be publicly championed a generation later by a chastened fundamentalist of both Presbyterian and Baptist stock: a young evangelist named Billy Graham.


  1. The article “Christian fundamentalism” perpetuates the idea that The Fundamentals prompted fundamentalism and taught the elusive “five points”: “Christian Fundamental- ism,” Wikimedia Foundation, accessed October 5, 2019, Christian_fundamentalism.
  2. I define evangelicalism at some length in John G. Stackhouse, Jr., Evangelicalism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2022).
  3. “A Statement by the Two Laymen,” The Fundamentals, 12 vols. (Chicago, IL: Testimony Publishing Co., n.d. [1910-1915]), 12:4. Subsequent references to The Fundamentals will be by volume and number only. On Lyman Stewart and the various agenda pursued by the several leaders of this project, see B. M. Pietsch, “Lyman Stewart and Early Fundamentalism,” Church History 82, no. 3 (September 2013): 617–46; B. M. Pietsch, Dispensational Modernism (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015); and Timothy E. W. Gloege, Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the Making of Modern Evangelicalism (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2015), especially chap. 7, “Pure Religion,” 162-92.
  4. Foreword to The Fundamentals, 1:4
  5. Lyman Stewart to Milton Stewart, 26 October 1909, Lyman Stewart Papers, Bible Institute of Los Angeles; quoted in Ernest R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Premillennialism, 1800-1930 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1970; repr., Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978), 195.
  6. “A Statement by Two Laymen,” 12:4. Gloege reports that “the project elicited nearly 300,000 letters and cards” (180)
  7. Thomas E. Stephens to H. C. A. Dixon, Dixon Papers, XI-6, Southern Baptist Historical Commission Library; quoted in Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism, 206.
  8. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism, 199.
  9. William R. Hutchison, The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1976), 198.
  10. Lyman Stewart to Milton Stewart, 26 October 1909, Stewart Papers; quoted in Sandeen, Roots of Fundamentalism, 195, 199.
  11. “The Doctrinal Deliverance of 1910,” PCA Historical Center, 1910, access October 5, 2019,
  12. I thus am significantly modifying Ernest Sandeen’s judgment that “these volumes can better be understood in the context of the late nineteenth than of the twentieth century.” See Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism, 189.
  13. “The term Higher Criticism…means nothing more than the study of the literary structure of the various books of the Bible and more especially of the Old Testament. Now this in itself is most laudable. It is indispensable. It is just such a work as every minister or Sun- day School teacher does…to find out all he can with regard to the portion of the Bible he is studying; the author, the date, the circumstances, and the purpose of its writing…There is a higher criticism that is at once reverent in tone and scholarly in work. Hengstenberg, the German, and Horne, the Englishman, may be taken as examples” (Dyson Hague, “The History of Higher Criticism,” 1:88).
  14. George Frederick Wright, “The Testimony of the Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures,” 2:7-28; M. G. Kyle, “The Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures,” 2:29-47.
  15. David Heagle, “The Tabernacle in the Wilderness: Did it Exist?” 4:7-45.
  16. “That certain documents existed and were ultimately combined to make up the five books of Moses no one need doubt. It in no way detracts from their inspiration and authenticity to do so, nor does it in any way deny the essentially Mosaic origin of the legislation” (J. J. Reeve, “My Personal Experience with the Higher Criticism,” 3:108). Cf. George Frederick Wright, “The Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch,” 9:10-21.
  17. George L. Robinson, “One Isaiah,” 7:70-87; Joseph D. Wilson, “The Book of Daniel,” 7:88-100; Arno C. Gaebelein, “Fulfilled Prophecy a Potent Argument for the Bible,” 11:55-86 (this last one is one of the least potent arguments in the series: it argues circularly); and Heagle, “The Tabernacle in the Wilderness: Did It Exist?”, 4:7-45.
  18. James Orr, “The Virgin Birth of Christ,” 1:15; and E. J. Stobo, Jr., “The Apologetic value of Paul’s Epistles,” 10:89.
  19. Hutchinson, Modernist Impulse, 198.
  20. “No expert scholarship can settle questions that require a humble heart, a believing mind, and a reverent spirit, as well as a knowledge of Hebrew and philology; and no scholarship can be relied upon as expert which is manifestly characterized by a biased judgement, a curious lack of knowledge of human nature, and a still more curious deference to the views of men with a prejudice against the supernatural” (Dyson Hague, “The History of the Higher Criticism,” 1:116).
  21. Sir Robert Anderson, “Christ and Criticism,” 2:84.
  22. On common-sense realism in American philosophy and theology see Elizabeth Flower and Murray G. Murphey, A History of Philosophy in America, 2 vols. (New York, NY: Capricorn Books and G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1977), 1:204-387; and Henry F. May, The Enlightenment in America (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1976), 341-58. For its influence on fundamentalism in particular, see George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism, 1870-1925 (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1980), 14-18, 110-16, 212-21. On the specific interaction of worldview and hermeneutics in this tradition see George M. Marsden, “Everyone One’s Own Interpreter?: The Bible, Science, and Authority in Mid-Nineteenth Century America,” in The Bible in America: Essays in Cultural History, ed. Nathan O. Hatch and Mark A. Noll (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1982), 79-100; Timothy P. Weber, “The Two-Edged Sword: The Fundamentalist Use of the Bible,” in The Bible in America, 101-20; and Mark A. Noll, Between Faith and Criticism: Evangelicals, Scholarship, and the Bible in America, 2nd ed. (Vancouver: Regent College, 1991). American philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff reflects on the implications of common-sense realism, particularly of the Lockean variety, on American Christian higher education in Educating for Shalom: Essays on Christian Higher Education, ed. Clarence W. Joldersma and Gloria Goris Stronks (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004), especially “Can Scholarship and Christian Conviction Mix? Another Look at the Integration of Faith and Learning,” 172–98.
  23. Here is a fine example of the reasoning involved: “We would therefore postulate the fol- lowing propositions: 1. The Book of Genesis has no doctrinal value if it is not authoritative. 2. The Book of Genesis is not authoritative if it is not true. For if it is not history, it is not reliable; and if it is not revelation, it is not authoritative. 3. The Book of Genesis is not true if it is not from God. For if it is not from God, it is not inspired; and if it is not inspired, it possesses to us no doctrinal value whatever. 4. The Book of Genesis is not direct from God if it is a heterogeneous compilation of mythological folklore by unknowable writers. 5. If the Book of Genesis is a legendary narrative, anonymous, indefinitely erroneous, and the persons it described the mere mythical personifications of tribal genius, it is of course not only non- authentic, because non-authenticated, but an insufficient basis for doctrine…Mythical and legendary fiction, and still more, erroneous and misleading tradition, are incompatible not only with the character of the God of all truth, but with the truthfulness, trustworthiness, and absolute authority of the Word of God. We have not taken for our credentials cleverly invented myths. The primary documents, if there were such, were collated and revised and re-written by Moses by inspiration of God” (Dyson Hague, “The Doctrinal Value of the First Chapters of Genesis,” 8:76-77). See also Reeve, “Personal Experience,” 116-18, in which he uses a similar argument for the veracity of the whole Scripture.
  24. This term comes from Philippians 2:7 which speaks of Christ “emptying” himself in becom- ing human. Debates have raged since at least the seventeenth century as to the character and extent of this “kenōsis.” See Donald G. Bloesch, Essentials of Evangelical Theory, vol. 1: God, Authority and Salvation (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1978), 120-47; and C. Stephen Evans, Exploring Kenotic Christology: The Self-Emptying of God, ed. C. Stephen Evans (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2006).
  25. Cf. William Caven, “The Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament,” 4:46-72, and Sir Robert Anderson, “Christ and Criticism,” 2:69-84. This argument has by no means disappeared. For a more recent expression see J. W. Wenham, Christ and the Bible (London, UK: Inter-Varsity Press, 1972).
  26. “What the Conservative school oppose is not Biblical criticism, but Biblical criticism by rationalists. They do not oppose the conclusions of Wellhausen and Kuenen because they are experts and scholars; they oppose them because the Biblical criticism of rationalists and unbelievers can be neither expert nor scientific. A criticism that is characterized by the most arbitrary conclusions from the most spurious assumptions has no right to the word scientific….The old-fashioned views are as scholarly as they are Scriptural” (Dyson Hague, “The History of the Higher Criticism,” 1:118). See Marsden, Fundamentalism, 212-21.
  27. An Occupant of the Pew, “Evolutionism in the Pulpit,” 8:27-35.
  28. Henry H. Beach, “Decadence of Darwinism,” 8:36-48.
  29. George Frederick Wright, “The Passing of Evolution,” 7:5-20.
  30. James Orr, “Science and Christian Faith,” 4:91-104.
  31. Ibid., 4:96.
  32. A. M. Pitzer, “The Wisdom of this World,” 9:23.
  33. An important intellectual history of modern Europe uses these two motifs on “being” and “becoming.” See Franklin L. Baumer, Modern European Thought: Continuity and Change in Ideas, 1600-1950 (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1977). In addition to the sources mentioned above regarding common-sense realism, see Mark A. Noll, “The Irony of the Enlightenment for Presbyterians in the Early Republic,” Journal of the Early Republic 5 (Summer, 1985): 149-175.
  34. H. M. Sydenstricker even updated Charles G. Finney as he spoke of a veritable “Science of Conversion,” 8:64-73.
  35. Arthur T. Pierson, “The Proof of the Living God, as found in the prayer life of George Muller [sic], of Bristol,” 1:70-86.
  36. See Marsden’s fine chapter on “Fundamentalism as an Intellectual Phenomenon,” in Marsden, Fundamentalism, 212-221.
  37. G. F. Wright, for one, likely would have thought this a regrettable omission. “The worst foes of Christianity,” he wrote, “are not physicists but metaphysicians. Hume is more dangerous than Darwin; the agnosticism of Hamilton and Mansel is harder to meet than that of Tyndall and Huxley; the fatalism of the philosophers is more to be dreaded than the materialism of any scientific men” (George Frederick Wright, “The Passing of Evolution,” 7:20).
  38. G. Campbell Morgan, “The Purposes of the Incarnation,” 1:32; 33-34.
  39. Philip Mauro, “Modern Philosophy,” 2:85-105.
  40. Ibid., 2:104.
  41. Ibid., 2:97.
  42. These can be found at the end of volumes 7-11. The treatment of socialism is conspicuous in its temperance: Charles R. Erdman, “The Church and Socialism,” 12:108-19.
  43. A classic discussion of Religionswissenschaft (the academic study of religion) is Joachim Wach, The Study of Comparative Religion, ed. Joseph M. Kitagawa (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1958). On the “History-of-Religions” (Religionsgeschichte) school, see Werner Georg Kümmel, The New Testament: The History of the Investigation of Its Problems, trans. S. McLean Gilmour and Howard C. Kee (New York, NY: Abingdon

    Press, 1972), pp. 206-324. The use of the term “world” for “worldview” or “nomos” in this essay relies on Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1967).

  44. E. Y. Mullins, “The Testimony of Christian Experience,” 3:85.
  45. Cf. a similar testimony to the life-transforming power of the Word of God—written and Incarnate—in Philip Mauro, “Life in the Word,” 5:7-71.
  46. Mullins, “Testimony,” 3:85.
  47. See Marsden, Fundamentalism, 122.
  48. Ibid., 120. See D. Bruce Hindmarsh, The Evangelical Conversion Narrative (Oxford, UK: Oxford University, 2005).
  49. Charles T. Studd, “The Personal Testimony of Charles T. Studd,” 3:119-26; and H. W. Webb- Peploe, “A Personal Testimony,” 5:120-24.
  50. Charles A. Bowen, “A Message from Missions,” 9:95-110; Arthur T. Pierson, “The Testimony of Foreign Missions to the Superintending Providence of God,” 6:5-21; “Tributes to Christ and the Bible by Brainy Men not Known as Active Christians,” 2:120-26. These testimonies were supplemented by other occasional comments such as those of James Orr: “The experience of the Christian believer, with the work of missions in heathen lands, furnishes a testimony that cannot be disregarded to the reality of this spiritual world, and of the regenerating, transforming forces proceeding from it” (James Orr, “Science and Christian Faith,” 4:104).
  51. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (New York, NY: The New American Library, n.d. [1902]).
  52. Fazlur Rahman, Islam, 2nd ed. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1966), 30-42; and Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Qur’an (Chicago, IL: Bibloteca Islamica, 1980).
  53. John L. Neulsen, “The Person and Work of Jesus Christ,” 6:98-113.
  54. Neulsen, “Jesus Christ,” 113.
  55. Reeve, “Personal Experience,” 113-14.
  56. David James Burrell, “The Knowledge of God,” 8:90-99.
  57. For a conspicuous exception see Pitzer, “The Wisdom of This World,” 9:23.
  58. See the section on Charles Hodge in Mark A. Noll, ed., The Princeton Theology: 1812-1921 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1983), 117-31. See also the discussion of “Presbyterians and the Truth,” in Marsden, Fundamentalism, 109-18. Regarding Newton, see Marsden, Fundamentalism, 214. Timothy Weber observes that the intricacies of the interpretation of the Bible by fundamentalist leaders—especially of dispensationalists—undercut their claims for the perspicuity of Scripture. The “Bible teacher” in many conservative circles became the “authority” just as the “higher critic” was in liberal circles—and was needed just as much. See Weber, “The Two-Edged Sword”; for the premillennialist use of Scripture see Timothy P. Weber, Living in the Shadow of the Second Coming: American Premillennialism, 1875-1925 (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1979), 13-47.
  59. See these three articles by James Orr: “The Early Narratives of Genesis,” 6:85-97; “Science and Christian Faith,” 4:91-104; and “Holy Scripture and Modern Negations,” 9:31-47.
  60. Hutchison is thus correct that “the lack of dialogue with liberalism…helped ensure that The Fundamentals would be virtually ignored in those sectors of the theological community that might otherwise have been expected to respond” (Hutchison, Modernist Impulse, 198). But this lack of dialogue was a matter of The Fundamentals aiming to reinforce the faith of the evangelical faithful, not to seriously engage liberal dissidents.
  61. Stewart G. Cole, The History of Fundamentalism (1931; repr., Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1963), 61, 53.
  62. Donald Tinder identifies the “Five Points” as “mythical” in “A Guide to Further Reading,” in The Evangelicals: What They Believe, Who They Are, What They Are Changing, rev. ed., ed. David F. Wells and John D. Woodbridge (1975; repr., Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1977), 313.
  63. Norman F. Furniss, The Fundamentalist Controversy, 1918-1931 (New Haven, CT: Yale Uni- versity Press, 1954), 13.
  64. Louis Gasper, The Fundamentalist Movement (The Hague, NL: Mouton & Co., 1963), 12-13.
  65. Jerry Falwell, ed., The Fundamentalist Phenomenon: The Resurgence of Conservative Christianity (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981), 80.
  66. Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story: A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005), 165.
  67. The phrase is Gloege’s, Guaranteed Pure, 191. Matthew Sutton suggests that The Fundamentals provided fundamentalists—whom he calls “radical evangelicals”—“a clear foundation on which to build.” But I don’t think it does. See Matthew Avery Sutton, American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014), 89.
  68. “Convention Side Lights,” The Watchman-Examiner 8 (1 July 1920), 834. See Frederick Hale, “‘Fundamentalism’ and ‘Fundamentalist’ Semantically Considered: Their Lexical Origins, Early Polysemy, and Pejoration,” In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi 47 (2013), Art. 672, http://dx.doi. org/10.4102/ids.v47i1.672. Regarding the mailing list, see Gloege, Guaranteed Pure, 189-91.
  69. Marsden, Fundamentalism, 119, 73.
  70. No other major scholar of the period uses these terms this way: George W. Dollar, A His- tory of Fundamentalism in America (Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1973), 175-76.
  71. Dollar, A History of Fundamentalism in America, 175.
  72. John McNicol, “The Hope of the Church,” 6:114-27; Charles R. Erdman, “The Coming of Christ,” 11:87-99.
  73. Erdman, “The Coming of Christ,” 11:87-99.
  74. For this phrase and other thoughts on this subject, see Martin E. Marty, Religious Crises in Modern America (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 1981).
  75. Gloege likewise concludes, “As a fundamental declaration of faith, it somehow lacked both comprehensiveness and coherence.” This paper is an attempt to explain that “somehow.” See Gloege, Guaranteed Pure.
  76. Gloege, Guaranteed Pure, 177.
  77. In addition to sources previously cited, see also essays in Re-forming the Center: American Protestantism 1900 to the Present, ed. Douglas Jacobsen and William Vance Trollinger (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998); Michael S. Hamilton, “The Interdenominational Evangelicalism of D. L. Moody and the Problem of Fundamentalism,” in American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the State of American Religious History, ed. Darren Dochuk, Thomas S. Kidd, and Kurt W. Peterson (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2014); and David W. Bebbington, “Not So Exceptional After All: American Evangelicalism Reassessed,” Books & Culture (May 2007). I have made a similar argument regarding the mainstream of Canadian evangelicalism flowing well beyond the narrow confines of fundamentalism in a number of places, chiefly in Canadian Evangelicalism in the Twentieth Century: An Introduction to Its Character (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993).
  78. Marsden, Fundamentalism, 171-184, 216-17. I thus disagree with Gloege’s conclusion that The Fundamentals “created a group identity for isolated conservatives and evangelicals” (Gloege, Guaranteed Pure, 191). The group identity of evangelicals would re-emerge a generation later in the National Association of Evangelicals and their like. See John G. Stackhouse, Jr., “The National Association of Evangelicals, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and the Limits of Evangelical Cooperation,” Christian Scholar’s Review 25 (December 1995): 157-179.
  79. On the intervening period, see Joel A. Carpenter, Revive Us Again: The Reawakening of American Fundamentalism (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1987).
  80. Marty, Religious Crises, 23.

John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

John G. Stackhouse, Jr. is the Samuel J. Mikolaski Professor of Religious Studies and Dean of Faculty Development at Crandall University in Moncton, Canada. His most recent book is Evangelicalism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford).