In this century, the term “Fundamentalist” has pretty negative connotations. Some background may be helpful.

In a religious sense, the term “fundamentalist” was first used in 1922 in reference to a group of Baptists who were seeking to establish doctrinal limits in the Northern Baptist Convention. Their goal was to uphold the Bible and rid the convention of the philosophy of Modernism, which denied the infallibility of Scripture, rejected miracles, and gutted the Christian faith of defining principles such as the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. In short, the “fundamentalists” thought the Northern Baptist Convention ought to at least be genuinely Christian.

As similar battles occurred in denominations across the U.S., many Bible-believers who rejected Modernism and fought for the historic core beliefs of the Faith identified themselves as fundamentalists.

Over the decades since, popular use of the term has increasingly come to mean something like “any sort of wild eyed religious extremist.” The Fundamentalism Project (editors Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby) in the early 90’s accelerated the erosion of the term.

At Sharper Iron we usually use the term in its historic sense. Here, a “fundamentalist” is usually someone who believes in the foundational principles of the Christian faith and also believes in separation from apostasy. Opinions vary as to the degree of separation, the process and the methods. But those of biblical fundamentalist heritage are committed to the principle. For the purposes of the site, “the foundational principles of the Christian faith” are those expressed in our Doctrinal Statement.