Frank Nemec Writings
Mark Noll summarized the fundamentals as: "assertions that the Bible is the inspired Word of God; that Jesus Christ was God in human flesh, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for the salvation of men and women, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and would return at the end of the age in great glory; that sin is real and not the product of fevered imaginations; that God's grace and not human effort is the source of salvation; and that the church is God's institution designed to build up Christians and to spread the gospel."
- the Bible is the inspired Word of God --
The issue here is really inerrancy, not inspiration.
That idea didn't start to take hold until late 18th century.
From Wikipedia, 'According to an article in Theology Today published in 1975, "There have been long periods in the history of the church when biblical inerrancy has not been a critical question. It has in fact been noted that only in the last two centuries can we legitimately speak of a formal doctrine of inerrancy. The arguments pro and con have filled many books, and almost anyone can join in the debate".' This idea lacks any factual foundation. It was a reactionary knee-jerk response to Modernism.
- that Jesus Christ was God in human flesh -- This wasn't settled until the 4th century, when Constantine forced church leaders to pick a position and stick with it.
- was born of a virgin -- This idea didn't appear until the end of the first century, appearing only in Matthew and Luke, not as doctrine, but as bios narrative.
- lived a sinless life -- This did not appear until Hebrews, also end of the first century.
- died on the cross for the salvation of men and women -- This contains the only true fundamental of Christianity: the universal sacrifice of Jesus. But it goes beyond that, with a uniquely Christian redefinition of salvation, and a late idea from Paul of a universal need for Christian salvation in Romans.
- rose from the dead -- This does appear in Paul, but it was not essential to a universal sacrifice. The only universal requirement for a sacrificial animal is to die.
- ascended into heaven -- This appears in Paul (Romans 8:34) but also is not essential to a universal sacrifice.
- and would return at the end of the age in great glory -- This was a Christian adaptation of the Jewish apocalyptic worldview.
- that sin is real and not the product of fevered imaginations -- This is another Christian redefinition, of sin. Usages of the word in Torah are inconsistent; usages by Paul even more so. Sometimes Paul speaks of sin as a cosmic force. But in Romans he expounds his view that (1) sin is universal ("all have sinned") (not inborn), and (2) that the only solution is belief in Jesus. The broadest general meaning in use today is a practice that a god doesn't like or forbids. An implicit requirement for this term to be meaningful is the ability to know with certainty what a god or gods want or demand from humans. To say that there is no agreement on that topic is an understatement.
- that God's grace and not human effort is the source of salvation -- True but incomplete. The opportunity for salvation was provided by grace. All but some Calvinists understand that each human chooses whether or not to avail themselves of that opportunity. That is, chooses whether to become or to remain Christian.
- and that the church is God's institution designed to build up Christians and to spread the gospel -- That idea doesn't appear until the post-Pauline epistles. Paul viewed his assemblies as charismatic assemblies. Each member exercises what he considers to be his gift as he sees fit. That's for the benefit of the whole assembly. Paul never suggests that his assemblies had leaders. Paul spoke of reputation but not of evangelism.
Christian Fundamentalists tend to treat these 'fundamentals' as premises or postulates or axioms or assumptions.
Is self-evident necessarily true? Geocentric universe?