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Thursday, March 09, 2006 

Evangelical, Fundamentalist, what's the diff?

stardust1954 recently posted a link to the PBS show The Jesus Factor. A page inside there is titled Evangelicals v. Fundamentalists. Yikes! I thought they were the same thing! The second interview down, by John Green, says that the fundamentalist subset of evangelicalism are the ones that take the bible literally instead of metaphorically. Given this difference, I suspect if I review my writings, I interchange these terms. Sorry.

Does my simplistic cheat-sheet capture the differences?
  • Catholic: bible + Catechism + pope
  • Evangelical: only use the bible
  • Fundamentalist: the bible is inerrant

ACTUALLY, I was raised catholic, and the main premise of Catholicism that sets it apart from Lutheranism (?) and other very similar religions is that Catholics believe the wine actually BECOMES the body & blood of Jesus.

At least that's what I can remember. The main sticking point is the Eucharist, and the entire mass revolves around it.

Fundamentalism and evangelicals are quite close though, so you aren't really that far off for interchanging the terms. I found these differences at Wikipedia.com

1. Biblical inerrancy
2. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus and not good works
3. Individuals (above an age of accountability) must personally trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.
4. All Christians are commissioned to evangelize

1. Inerrancy of the Scriptures
2. The virgin birth and the deity of Jesus
3. The doctrine of substitutionary atonement through God's grace and human faith
4. The bodily resurrection of Jesus
5. The authenticity of Christ's miracles (or, alternatively, his premillennial second coming)

In particular, fundamentalists reject the documentary hypothesis—the theory held by higher biblical criticism that the Pentateuch was composed and shaped by many people over the centuries.
Also see Fundamentalist Christianity

Well, if the Evangelicals I've known told me that they weren't Fundamentalists, I'd laugh.

To both the fundamentalists of every denomination and the evangelicals (which are fundamental by definition) the bible is their deity. They have effectively fashioned a book into their own “golden calf” which they worship and praise, not to mention quote feverishly. As far as I see it they hardly worship a supernatural force/entity at all rather the bible itself.

You've been tagged. Enjoy.

I don't understand the distinctions that Wikipedia made. Don't Evangelicals believe all the things listed under Fundamentalists?

I had also assumed that Evangelicals could be Fundamentalists, but not necessarily because they don't all believe the Bible is 100% inerrant. For example, they ususally blow off all the freaky Old Testament stuff as being irrelevant.

I realize I may be wrong on the inerrancy part, but I'm pretty sure I am right about Evangelicals believing everything else in the list of Fundamentalists. This would be that they are one in the same. I'm just not buying that Wikipedia list.

evangelical:precious bible, my precious, o precious, you wants it
fundamentalist:you will obey the bible AND go to hell

Nice and clear list...and so true!

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  • The word rational means having the ability to reason. Reasoning takes time. Giving yourself the space to think is practically a luxury in our society.

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