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.”

  1. Loyalty to an organization, movement, or even leader. Equating defense of the faith with the prosperity of their organization or its leader.
  2. 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.
  3. Separation redefined as “guilt by association,” where associating with someone who holds any error constitutes an endorsement of that error.
  4. Inability to receive criticism, where asking questions implies weakness or compromise. Any criticism—especially if it is offered publicly—constitutes an attack.
  5. Anti-intellectualism, where education is viewed as detrimental to spiritual well-being. Colleges, when they exist, are strictly for the purpose of practical training.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Read more on this topic from the Nov/Dec Baptist Bulletin: