Five Basic Doctrines | Scopes Trial | Facts | Historical Significance | Bibliography [1]

Fundamentalism is a belief in the literal interpretation of a particular religions doctrine or holy books. There are five basic doctrines of faith and Christianity. There was also a trial called The Scopes Trial that wanted to stop teachers teaching evolution in the schools. This Trial did not succeed but it did change things after that. Fundamentalism was an important religious, cultural, and political influence throughout the twentieth century. Fundamentalists used to Bible as a way to seek answers in life or as a way to understand things and life. Fundamentalism can be used in newspapers, news, arguments, and most of all in churches. it can be used in positive or negative ways. It means different things to different people. There could be generic fundamentalism or historic fundamentalism as in a religious type of movement. Fundamentalism continued to grow and grow. It was very important in the 1920s. [2]

Five Basic Doctrines

1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ
Book of God. Fundamentalism belief book read by the Fundamentalists.

2. The Virgin Birth
3. The Blood Atonement
4. The Bodily Resurrection
5. The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves.[3]

The first is The Diety of our Lord Jesus Christ, it could also be known as the Trinity. This doctrine is saying that God can be three persons in one. God is one "what" and three "whos" with each "who" possessing all the attributes of Deity and personality. Second, The Virgin Birth, also could be known as Jesus is 100% God and 100% man for all eternity. For instance, Jesus Christ was not sent down from heaven but his body was created in Mary. Also Christ could not say that he was born from Mary like Eve didn’t say she was born of Adam, so Jesus was born from the Holy Ghost and that is why this is called the Virgin Birth. Third, The Blood Atonement, also known as the second coming. Jesus Christ is coming to earth to rule and to judge. Christ told his disciples, "I will come again."
When this second coming is going to happen it will mean the end of the world for all of us because Jesus will come and take away his church and people to heaven and there will be no more people on land. Fourth, The Bodily Resurrection, also known as Salvation. "It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone." You can save yourself only through grace, faith, and Christ. The person must believe and persuaded that Jesus Christ is the only savior. And must accept that the Scriptures and the Gospel are true. Lastly, the inerrancy of the scriptures themselves, also known as just the scriptures. The scripture is sufficient for all Christian life. Only through the Scriptures we have knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. [4]

Scopes Trial

Fundamentalist movements were found in the most Northern American area. Although it began in the north, the largest strength of this movement was in the south. Fundamentalists in the 1920s brought fighting to the teaching of the evolution in schools and colleges. This later turned into The Scopes Trial in Tennessee in 1925. Also could be known as the "Monkey Trial". They wanted teachers to stop teaching things about the evolution to the students.
This became a media crisis when this trial came out because of teaching evolution in schools. John T. Scopes was the one who created this trial. He did eventually lose the case and many evolutionists saw this as a victory for them. This put a spotlight on the beliefs of fundamentalists. This Scopes trial occurred in March 21st, 1925 prohibiting the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution in public schools. The picture on the left is Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan during the trial. The picture on the right is an image of the trial. [5]

Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan during the Scopes Trial.

Image of the Scopes Trial deciding if evolution should be taught in public schools.


Fundamentalist turn a lot to the Bible to seek answers and learn something from there. Fundamentalists change their entire methodology of the scripture interpretation when they want to, even when dealing with verses that are just a couple of sentences away from each other. Also in the 1920s the fundamentalists got the idea that slaves were just property not people. They got this idea from this quote, "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property ." (Leviticus 25:44-45)
They also turn to the Bible and that is where they seek their answers about life and how to live their life and who other people are to you. But some of the scriptures the fundamentalists do not take literal like for example the scriptures would say "if the hand causes you to sin, cut it off", fundamentalists do not take this literally but they do understand that you should not sin.[6]

Historical Significance

This topic is important in the 1920s because it shows how religion and Christianity was really important to a lot of people living in America. People wanted to know about the evolution and about God and Jesus and Fundamentalism was a very big part of that for everybody. Nowadays we don't just hear about Protestant Fundamentalism but Catholic Fundamentalists, Hindu Fundamentalists, Buddhist Fundamentalists, and even Darwinian Fundamentalists.
Fundamentalism has been an important religious, cultural, and a political influence throughout the twentieth century and moving onto the twenty-first century. The 1920s would not have been the same without Fundamentalism because it played a big role in everybody's lives in the twentieth century. Without it people wouldn't be interested in the Bible, God, Jesus, or the evolution. Fundamentalism was very important in the 1920s.


  1. ^ Google. Feb. 2, 2012.,r:16,s:260
  2. ^ Wacker, Grant. "The Rise OF Fundamentalism". Feb. 2, 2012.
  3. ^

    Simpson, Sandy. "The Five Basic Doctrines". Feb. 1, 2012.
  4. ^

    Ayers, Edward L., Schulzinger, Robert D., De La Teja, Jesus F., White, Deborah Gray. American Anthem. New York. A Harcourt Education Company. 2007
  5. ^

    Linder, Douglas. Famous Trials In American History. Feb. 2, 2012.
  6. ^

    "Bible verses that even fundamentalists don't take literally". Feb. 1, 2012.