“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” ~Hebrews 11:1 (New American Standard Bible).
Fundamentalism is widespread throughout the United States and a topic that most educators will have to face at some point in their careers. But what is fundamentalism?
One way to characterize it is as excessive confidence in the correctness of one's religious views. Fundamentalism therefore places an interesting question on the table: Can one have too much faith in one's faith?
Aristotle taught that virtues exist between two extremes. Too little bravery makes one a coward; too much makes one rash. Could this idea be used to locate virtuous faith? On the one hand, too little confidence in one's beliefs seems to entail an unhappy lack of faith. On the other hand, too much confidence in one's beliefs seems to push out the need for faith itself, turning faith into sure and certain knowledge, and thereby undermining the state of faith.
Christian fundamentalism is the predominant form of fundamentalism in the U.S. It makes rigid distinctions about what are and are not acceptable Christian beliefs. It demands a non-negotiable commitment to specific ways of interpreting the Bible.
TheBestSchools.org commissioned the creation of a quiz to measure one's level of agreement with Christian fundamentalism, from total disagreement to total agreement. We call it the Fundamentalist Belief Inventory (FBI).
To what extent do you align with Christian Fundamentalist principles? Take this short quiz to find out. Will you be surprised by your results, or will you get what you expect?
A couple of things to note: 1) this quiz is a forced choice test, meaning there are deliberately uncomfortable choices to make, and 2) the quiz does not offer psychological advice, nor is it intended as proof of religious orthodoxy.
Click here to take the 40-question Fundamentalist Belief Inventory.