In Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism, Kevin Bauder identifies eight characteristics of hyper-fundamentalism, a group he calls “the noisiest and often the most visible representatives of fundamentalism.”
- Loyalty to an organization, movement, or even leader. Equating defense of the faith with the prosperity of their organization or its leader.
- Militant stance regarding some extrabiblical or even antibiblical teaching, such as commitment to a theory of textual preservation and Biblical translation that leaves the King James Version as the only acceptable English Bible.
- Separation redefined as “guilt by association,” where associating with someone who holds any error constitutes an endorsement of that error.
- Inability to receive criticism, where asking questions implies weakness or compromise. Any criticism—especially if it is offered publicly—constitutes an attack.
- Anti-intellectualism, where education is viewed as detrimental to spiritual well-being. Colleges, when they exist, are strictly for the purpose of practical training.
- Nonessentials as tests of fundamentalism, where fellowship is limited to Baptists (or dispensationalists). Also includes those who elevate extrabiblical personal practices regarding hair length, musical preferences, and women wearing trousers.
- Militant political involvement as a criterion for fundamentalist standing, such as activism against communism, abortion, and gay rights. While most fundamentalists agree about these issues, hyper-fundamentalists require militant activism as a necessary obligation.
- Double standards for personal ethics, including a tolerance for name-calling, half-truths, innuendo, and political backstabbing as long as it furthers the cause of the movement.