In every sport, every trade, and in the sciences, there is much time and effort in learning the skills necessary and building the foundation upon which to build to perfection. In all of these things we build upon the fundamentals.
In so many situations too, when things are not going as they should, sometimes we add layers of junk to our processes to try and fix the problems that we see present. In my own trade, often when problems arise, we come up with new ideas for equipment that will help to solve the problems. A variety of salesmen will come to assist, each with a unique approach as to how to fix this new problem.
A majority of time, however, the problem is not new. The symptom of the problem might not have shown itself before, but not the problem itself. The real problem is simply a violation of the fundamental principles of metal cutting and mechanically sound practices. All the attempts to cover up these problems with new technology lead to what I call layers of fat which must be later trimmed to again become efficient.
The two biggest problems that I see facing my place of employment in the manufacturing area are disorganization and trade knowledge. These would have been the same problems facing it had it been around 50, 100, or even 1000 years ago. These are the same problems facing us in our personal lives as well, and it is sometimes shocking to see the things that people will do to try to circumvent problems caused by practices that are by their nature unsound.
We see the same in sports. Amazing strong and gifted athletes in the NFL are capable of knocking other amazingly strong and gifted athletes to the ground just by running into them — sometimes. But at the lower levels, the defensive players are taught to wrap up the man in their arms when tackling so that to keep running he would have to pull a similar size human with him after sustaining that hit. Why do professional athletes try to do it differently? From what I can tell, they have been capable before of doing this, so they have been in some cases able to violate the fundamentals of tackling and get away with it; but they are not always able to, and that is when you see missed tackles. Every time I see this, I picture clear in mind my high school football coach screaming from the sidelines, “HIT AND WRAP! HIT AND WRAP!”
That is something learned in the first practice with pads — a fundamental.
How does any of this find its place on a website dedicated to Bible study?
Most reading will probably get it quite easily. It is about the fundamentals. In these other situations, going back to the fundamentals is wisdom. In “Christianity”, those who hold to the fundamentals, i.e., fundamentalists, are held in general disdain. Some say fundamentalism holds people back from reason, some say fundamentalism holds people back from getting along with others with whom they disagree, and it is no coincidence that when a terrorist attack happens, many in the media will blame the problem on “religious extremism”, or on “Islamic Fundamentalism”, which from what I can tell is a way to poke at Christians who hold to the fundamentals of Christianity, which is the definition of fundamentalist.
Ben Shapiro, of The Daily Wire, has stated the importance of faith and reason, and that faith without reason leads to fundamentalism¹, and that this is a problem. What????!!!!
In everything else, having the fundamentals down is crucial, but in matters of faith, or, better yet, in the matters of utmost importance, the relationship of God to man and these things of ultimate truth and reality, human reason seems to be held over the belief of what God has revealed about himself. This is absurd, and this is insanity. God’s revelation of Himself rules over all that any human being has to say about Him.
That is why, as a fundamentalist, I hold to the belief in the Bible. It is God’s revelation of Himself to man, and as such, I need to mold all of my reasoning to get it in line with “what saith the scriptures”. We start there. The arguments of approximately a century ago between fundamentalism and modernism were ultimately this: Fundamentalists believe that the Bible is the word of God and as such it is the ultimate authority, while the modernists, very simply do not. The world sees this as narrow-minded fundamentalists vs. intelligent and better educated scholars. The problem is the “Bible scholars” know everything about everything except the Bible; and even if they know about the Bible they do not know the Bible. They know “what saith the scholars”.
Before I state succinctly and in a matter-of-fact way what fundamentals I hold to, I will briefly state some things fundamentalism is not. It is not:
- “A Handmaid’s Tale”
- Snake handlers in the Appalachian backwoods
- Taking over the government and establishing the Mosaic law
- The Westboro Baptists
- The “Christian version” of Islamic terrorism (whatever that means)
The fundamentals of the Christian faith that I hold to here at Distinguishing Truth are as follows:
- The Bible is God’s Word and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It stands above all science and human reasoning and is the ultimate authority. This reason is why I hold to all of the rest of the items on this list.
- God created the world in six days a long time ago, but not the long time ago that science, so-called, states as dogma. The long time ago is in the neighborhood of 6000 years. To state otherwise is to cast doubt on the trustworthiness of the word of God. (Genesis 1:1; Genesis 5; Exodus 20:11)
- God has revealed Himself to man in three Persons. The Father is God, the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord is God, and the Holy Spirit sent from the Son and Father is God, and yet God is One. This is Biblical, and most human reasoning makes a mess of it, but it is nevertheless what the Bible teaches. (Acts 5:3–4; Ephesians 1:2; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:7; Colossians 2:9; Deuteronomy 6:4²)
- Jesus Christ is God revealed in the flesh, and as such He is fully God, and never ceased to be God; He is also fully man, becoming man at His miraculous conception when the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. He was born of Mary when she “knew not a man”, which was a birth like no other. God became man so that He could be made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (John 1:1, 14; Luke 1:26–32; 1 Corinthians 5:21)
- Jesus Christ’s death for our sins is the only way that any man can be made righteous with God, and since that revelation, belief in this gospel of Christ is the only faith that God will accept and with it grant His own righteousness to any and all that believe. (Romans 3:19–27)
- The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead in the same physical body that He walked the earth with before His death, although He rose glorified to never die again. By His resurrection life, He is able to give eternal life to all who come to God by Him. (Romans 5:10; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 7:25)
- It is to the Lord Jesus Christ that God has granted the judgment of the world, and we all will stand before His judgment seat. If we are saved by Him by coming to God as God has said, by faith in His blood, we will stand before Him as our Savior. If we reject His provision, we will stand before Him as judge and will be condemned. This judgment is finally at the Great White Throne judgment in Revelation 20, where any not found written in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire, and will experience the second death. (John 5:22; Revelation 20:11–15)
- The Lord Jesus Christ is coming to this world again, this time in wrath and war, to judge and to establish His own kingdom upon this earth. It will be a worldwide kingdom of peace and righteousness, and He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. The promises made to Abraham and his children will be fulfilled when they turn from their unbelief to faith in Him as God’s Christ, and the time of this turning, the “times of refreshment” will be during this 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. (Revelation 19:11–20:6)
- While we are waiting for this time, God is letting man have his day in this world, while offering grace and peace to any and all who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. God is not making further revelation to man because He has said His final word until He speaks again, this time in wrath. He has committed the dispensation, or management of this grace to the Apostle Paul to reveal to the world, and it is found in Paul’s epistles. These epistles have a distinctive character because they fill a gap between the sufferings of Christ and the glory that will follow, that would be completely unexplainable without them. To reject the revelation given to Paul is to reject Christianity, and the 27 books that comprise what we commonly call the New Testament must all be cast away³, and therefore all we have is an “Old Testament” which ends with “no remedy”. (Ephesians 3:2; Romans 16:25; 2 Chronicles 36:16)
- The Christian, living during this dispensation of God’s grace is to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for the blessed hope of Christ’s return. He or she is an ambassador of Christ and is to live in a way becoming of being God’s elect. There is no license at any time for a Christian to sin or to live in sin, but all of his sins are forgiven because he has already been forgiven all trespasses. The temporary remedy for the sinning Christian is simply to stop and return to living the life to which he was called. The eternal remedy is already accomplished by Christ on the cross. (Colossians 2:13; 3:10; Titus 2:12–13; 2 Corinthians 5:20)
There are quite likely more items that I could state, but this list of 10 are fundamentals of Christianity that I fully and unapologetically hold. With that said, I say without apology, that I am a fundamentalist. I am a Christian.
- These are just a few references. The Bible throughout is witness to the three-in-one Godhead. The verses listed as examples are a sampling only to show a Biblical basis, but there are so many more that they cannot all be listed.
- Try for yourself finding any authority for any of the rest of the “New Testament” if you remove Paul’s epistles.
Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.