Eight Characteristics of Hyper-Fundamentalism

5644 reads

There are 28 Comments

Dan Burrell's picture

As always, Kevin lays a great foundation for an important discussion. These eight issues are spot on, in my opinion, but not exhaustive. I'd be interested in reading what others would suggest need to be added to this list.

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

Ron Bean's picture

I'm thankful that Dr. Bauder has noted the difference between fundamentalism and hyper-fundamentalism.

I'll be interested to see the HF reaction to this list.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

It would be a blessing to see fundamentalists come together and unify around these spot-on observations.

JohnBrian's picture

Quote:
A fifth characteristic of hyper-fundamentalism is anti-intellectualism. Some hyper-fundamentalists view education as detrimental to spiritual well-being…. Colleges, when they exist, are strictly for the purpose of practical training.

But they don't mind honorary doctorates and being called DR!

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube

Bob Hayton's picture

Too funny, John Brian.

On the post, Jim Peet mentioned "list-based sanctification (or legalism)" as something to add to the list, and I'd second his motion.

I also agree with Kevin Bauder's assessment that the hyper-fundamentalism does represent the majority of fundamentalism. But enrollment in H-F colleges is on the decline (thankfully), and the internet is helping in the demise of the worst kinds of Hyper-fundamentalism (I hope and think).

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Don Johnson's picture

How can these be 'characteristic' if bearing only one of these marks makes you a hyper-fundamentalist? How are these 'characteristics' really 'characteristic' when the words 'often', 'sometimes', 'occasionally', and 'some' are used in 6 out of 8?

When something is characteristic, you find those characters or a vast majority of those characters always present in the thing you are describing.

The fact is that there is a group of people of whom 80% or more of these marks are identifiable. That would make them characteristic of that group, whatever you might call it. I am not sure hyper-fundamentalist is the best term. In any case, those to whom the term could apply have all or almost all of these 'characteristics'. So when Kevin concludes:

"When a version of fundamentalism bears one or more of these marks, it should be viewed as hyper-fundamentalist…"

That is just baloney. I suppose that he might call a platypus a duck because it has a bill. It would amount to the same thing as he asserts here, and I suspect he means to include ANYONE who is KJO as a hyper-fundamentalist. To which I would say, baloney.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

(cross posted on Bob's blog)

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Bob Hayton's picture

copying my reply to this same comment on my blog (where the original post is):

Don,

He specifically mentions being militant over a non-biblical position. So people who prefer the KJV, even with strong convictions, who nevertheless remain non-militant in their stance on that question and who don’t make one’s view of the KJV as a mark of being a legitimate fundamentalist or not (the 6th characteristic), they would not be hyper-fundamentalist. I know several who are KJV only who would probably not be hyper-fundamentalist.

Also, one rarely finds just one characteristic in a hyper-fundamentalist, but each of these are so egregious that I would side with Bauder and say just one of these makes you a hyper-fundamentalist.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Don Johnson's picture

Reportedly Colin Hanson (and maybe Andy Naselli too) think there isn't much difference. Since they share some characteristics, are they the same, or does a difference remain?

To assert that ONE shared characteristic with a so-called "hyper-fundamentalist" makes you a "hyper-fundamentalist" is ludicrous.

FWIW, I don't think any of those characteristics describe me (although I suppose some would differ), so I am not arguing out of a sense of defensiveness.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Hi Don,
When a believer wants to have a church split or run out a Pastor because the church is singing the hymn "In Christ Alone," I would call that hyper. When a believer wants to denounce a Christian college because it sings a Getty hymn and does away with the demerit system, I would call that hyper. When a Pastor refuses to have a missionary present at his church simply because that missionary did not graduate from the same college/university as he, I will call it hyper.

So, yes, there is merit to Bauder's point.

Jeff Brown's picture

I don't want to take anything away from what is written or from the direction of the discussion. However, restricting people's appearances at your church is actually the same phenomenon that occurs in different parameters.

I pastored a GARBC church, was an officer in the regional fellowship and active in the state fellowship. When the Lord called my wife and me to the mission field, we resigned our church and moved to my home church, not GARBC. We joined BMM, which at that time was a GARBC - approved mission. Two pastors (I knew them both) refused to have me present my ministry at their churches because I was not being sent by a GARBC church. Were they Hyper GARBC? Wink

Maybe that is a question for Kevin Mungons! :bigsmile:

Jeff Brown

fsansone's picture

Pastor Joe Roof wrote:
Hi Don,
When a believer wants to have a church split or run out a Pastor because the church is singing the hymn "In Christ Alone," I would call that hyper. When a believer wants to denounce a Christian college because it sings a Getty hymn and does away with the demerit system, I would call that hyper. When a Pastor refuses to have a missionary present at his church simply because that missionary did not graduate from the same college/university as he, I will call it hyper.

So, yes, there is merit to Bauder's point.

Joe,

What do you call it when someone distorts another person's position? Not sure if it is "hyper" anything or not, but it sure happens a lot.

Obviously the comments above are vague enough to allow for plausible deniability. However, in that these "examples" are supposed to be representative of true cases, I am pretty sure that the people being painted in a bad light in these comments would say "Hey - wait a minute - that is not a fair representation of my position" and that there is "more to the story" than the way this is presented. I think we can - and MUST - do better than that.

Of course, looking at Bauder's comments, perhaps that is "hyper" - based on the last characteristics.

Dr. Bauder as quoted by Bob Hayton wrote:
Eight and last, hyper-fundamentalists sometimes hold a double standard for personal ethics. They see themselves engaged in an ecclesiastical war, and they reason that some things are permissible in a warfare that would not be permissible in ordinary life. They may employ name-calling, half-truths, and innuendo as legitimate weapons. They may excuse broken promises and political backstabbing.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Frank,
I was dealing with stated positions that have been brought to me over the course of the past few years of ministry. I do not believe that I am misrepresenting anyone by sharing the positions stated to me.

The example I gave about Getty Hymns is a perfect example of the hyperfundamentalism about which Dr. Bauder speaks. For example, fundamentalists welcomed Al Smith's hymnal which included songs from the Gaithers. Now, we have some suggesting that fundamentalism is doing something "new" by having hymnbooks, song services with songs from the Getty's. I just think it is a move in a "hyper" direction that we did not have even in Al Smith's time on earth.

fsansone's picture

Pastor Joe Roof wrote:
Frank,
I was dealing with stated positions that have been brought to me over the course of the past few years of ministry. I do not believe that I am misrepresenting anyone by sharing the positions stated to me.

The example I gave about Getty Hymns is a perfect example of the hyperfundamentalism about which Dr. Bauder speaks. For example, fundamentalists welcomed Al Smith's hymnal which included songs from the Gaithers. Now, we have some suggesting that fundamentalism is doing something "new" by having hymnbooks, song services with songs from the Getty's. I just think it is a move in a "hyper" direction that we did not have even in Al Smith's time on earth.

Joe,

This actually gets to my point, so perhaps it is worth pursuing.

Again, since we are dealing with vague descriptions, the plausible deniability that I mentioned earlier comes into play. However, let's look at the example you repeated as a test case.

Earlier you stated,

Joe Roof wrote:

"When a believer wants to denounce a Christian college because it sings a Getty hymn and does away with the demerit system, I would call that hyper."

I would argue the following:

The person being caricatured here most likely would present this significantly differently than your version - and that by presenting a simplistic and unfair characterization of another's position we are being uncharitable, at best.

For instance, in this example, their is really one college that probably fits the bill of your description and to say that believers are "denouncing" that school because of these two things alone is wildly inaccurate.

Further, my guess is that even if "a Getty hymn" (really? just one? with no other issues in this area?) were this person's issue - to argue that Al Smith used Gaither hymns and Fundamentalists used Al Smith, would again be showing you don't even understand that person's position. I doubt the person arguing against the Getty hymn would be arguing for the Gaither hymn. I also doubt that the argument "Fundamentalists used Al Smith, who included Gaither hymns" would hold much water with a person holding to the position you are giving - since they would argue "so what - just because Fundamentalists did something in the past, does not mean that they were right."

You know I love you, Joe, but a number of times you have made comments in these forums about "Fundamentalists did X" as though it justifies someone else doing Y. I'm sorry, but that argument doesn't fly. (BTW, it did not fly when MO used it during the Pastor's meeting, either, but that is another story.)

Finally, I find it ironic that you are using BAUDER (really??!!) to say that someone who would have a concern about a Getty hymn is "hyper."

Just my thoughts before I crawl back into my real life.

Frank

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Frank,
You and I are not thinking about the same stuff. I did not have one school in mind. I have heard at least four schools denounced over this. While I am not at liberty to give names here on SI, I think we are thinking about some different people who have made these kinds of denouncements.

All I am trying to do is say that fundmentalists x needs to stop condemning others (over things like using modern songs in church) when he is doing the same thing.

fsansone's picture

Pastor Joe Roof wrote:
All I am trying to do is say that fundmentalists x needs to stop condemning others (over things like using modern songs in church) when he is doing the same thing.

I agree. Not sure I see much of that, however.

Robert Byers's picture

It's quite unusual to make a list of eight symptoms and then announce that the presence of any one of them qualifies as a diagnosis. It would be much more common in my experience to declare that someone displaying four or five of the eight (or half or more of however many there are) would be suffering from the illness under consideration. It's pretty hard to diagnose conclusively with a 12.5% positive indicator unless you are prepared to argue that these are such virulent strains of disease as to be dispositive even when standing alone.

Don Johnson's picture

Bro Byers, you said what I am saying but much more elegantly. Clearly you are not hyper since you can't be anti-intellectual! I on the other hand, eschewing (oops) long words, might be hyper because I could be called anti-intellectual!

Kidding aside, I agree with your post #16 100%.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
It's quite unusual to make a list of eight symptoms and then announce that the presence of any one of them qualifies as a diagnosis. It would be much more common in my experience to declare that someone displaying four or five of the eight (or half or more of however many there are) would be suffering from the illness under consideration. It's pretty hard to diagnose conclusively with a 12.5% positive indicator unless you are prepared to argue that these are such virulent strains of disease as to be dispositive even when standing alone.
I don't see why this is that controversial. It's not like Kevin went and picked some off the wall symptom. These seem to be fairly common and fairly serious issues.

What would be the hesitancy to label someone with one of these as a hyper fundamentalist? Or to put it differently, what good and reasonable spin can be put on any of these eight? Give an example (either use names or not, it doesn't matter) of one of these eight characteristics being acceptable.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

The prefix hyper, I think, puts the list into the proper perspective. For instance, I don't cut my hair short, wear pants, or watch tv/movies; I prefer classical and conservative forms of music, and the KJB. I also homeschool my kids and wear little white Keds. But I am not a hyper anything because those are personal choices that I have made, and I do not measure others' love for God, spiritual maturity, or dedication to Christ by such criteria, nor do I limit fellowship by whether or not others march in lockstep with my ideals. If we are to 'know' others by their fruits, then I would think the fruits of the Spirit listed in Scripture are a truer measure of what is or isn't fruitful Christianity.

Ditto terms and method of separation- we do have Biblical standards and a process for such, as well as the reason for separation- restoration. The mark of hyper-F separation is the kick-em-into-the-abyss-and-good-riddance-to-bad-rubbish attitude. The mark of Biblical separation is humility, and grief at the loss of a brother into unrepentant sin and the inevitable destruction to follow.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

This list and the assertion that one bearing only one of these marks makes you a hyper-fundamentalist is much more short-sighted an offer by Bauder than I would expect but at least I can now reset my Bauder gauge.

However, I am sure with Bauder's Barometer in view those sensitive folks over at Pyromaniacs can now rest comfortably knowing they, too, are Hyper-Fundamentalists, after all the 4th characteristic is:

Quote:
Fourth, hyper-fundamentalists are marked by an inability to receive criticism. For them, questioning implies weakness or compromise. Any criticism — especially if it is offered publicly — constitutes an attack….

Jay's picture

Robert Byers wrote:
It's quite unusual to make a list of eight symptoms and then announce that the presence of any one of them qualifies as a diagnosis. It would be much more common in my experience to declare that someone displaying four or five of the eight (or half or more of however many there are) would be suffering from the illness under consideration. It's pretty hard to diagnose conclusively with a 12.5% positive indicator unless you are prepared to argue that these are such virulent strains of disease as to be dispositive even when standing alone.

I am pretty surprised that Bauder says that if "one or more is present" then one must be hyper. I'm fairly sure that he would not say that anyone with any of these qualities is ipso facto hyper, but that one of the characteristics of hypers is that they manifest at least one of these characteristics.

Alex, if you honestly think that TeamPyro does not tolerate criticism, then I think you might want to review some of their comment threads. They have no patience for trolls, but people who disagree and say so aren't banned immediately, unlike some other blogs I know of.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bob Hayton's picture

Susan R wrote:
The mark of hyper-F separation is the kick-em-into-the-abyss-and-good-riddance-to-bad-rubbish attitude. The mark of Biblical separation is humility, and grief at the loss of a brother into unrepentant sin and the inevitable destruction to follow.

Very good thoughts, here, Susan.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Brenda T's picture

In his article "Now, About Those Differences, Part Twenty-Three (December 2010) Bauder wrote,

Quote:
Of course, the King James Only movement is only one species of hyper-fundamentalism. Hyper-fundamentalism may revolve around personal and institutional loyalties, idiosyncratic agendas, absurd ethical standards, or the elevation of incidental doctrines and practices. The thing that characterizes all versions of hyper-fundamentalism is the insistence upon draconian reactions for relatively pedestrian—or even imaginary—offenses.

On that occasion he's saying there are several "species" of hyper-fundamentalism. Unfortunately, each "species" is called by the same name: "hyper-fundamentalism." Maybe "hyper-fundamentalism" should be the genus instead of the species, since there are various species of hyper-fundamentalism.

jimfrank's picture

I greatly look forward to David Cloud's Friday News Notes tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 16, 2011). His response to these "Apostate New Evangelical" charges will appear on www.wayoflife.org .

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Jim, who are you calling "apostate new evangelical?"

jimfrank's picture

David Cloud will. That is his standard name for all groups that are near what he believes minus the hyper-fundamentalism. Not you and (I hope!) not me.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Jay C. wrote:
Alex, if you honestly think that TeamPyro does not tolerate criticism, then I think you might want to review some of their comment threads. They have no patience for trolls, but people who disagree and say so aren't banned immediately, unlike some other blogs I know of.

Your recommendation assumes that I have not read or reviewed their comment threads, bad idea. I have not only reviewed them but have for some years and am satisfied with my view that their reception of criticism reflects #4 often enough to qualify.

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Thanks Jim. I agree - it does not take much to get on Cloud's bad list.