"Fundamentalism is the unqualified acceptance of and obedience to the Scriptures."
The proper definition of Fundamentalism is much broader than the image often presented by its enemies. However, the history of the movement bears witness to the fact that Fundamentalists hold fidelity to the Word of God above all else.
In Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism Since 1850 is a fascinating account of the Fundamentalist movement, in all its breadth, from the time of the Civil War to the present.
Men from nearly every denomination and all walks of life are a part of that history: from Lyman Stewart, a Christian businessman, to J. Gresham Machen, the learned Princeton professor; from the fiery evangelist Billy Sunday to the dignified pastor W.B. Riley. These colorful men were united by a common goal: faithfulness to their Lord and Saviour. And their activities were as varied as their backgrounds: pastoring churches, evangelizing the lost, conducting Bible and prophetic conferences, exposing liberalism, establishing Christian schools and colleges, and publishing Christian literature.
Meticulously researched and engagingly written, In Pursuit of Purity is an illuminating narrative of the course of American Fundamentalism in all its important variations and in its victories and defeats. The extensive notes, appendixes, and index make it a valuable reference book as well as interesting reading.
Dr. David O. Beale, a former Baptist pastor, currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in church history and Bible at Bob Jones University.