C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

    23 replies to "Evangelicalism vs. Fundamentalism vs. Liberalism"

    • Zachariah

      What do the dots represent? A portion of believe in that category?

    • Robert

      Wow, evangelicals are so balanced! How could everyone else be so foolish.

    • Ed Kratz

      Who is to say that balanced is the best? You are assuming too much!

    • Robert

      Good point Michael.

    • gaburkheimer

      Labels please! At least in the center circles.

    • Bruce

      I like the concept but you can’t read tool much into it. Now let’s see that in a venn diagram. 🙂

    • Cadis

      Boo! Fundamentalists do not narrow in on essentials for salvation anymore than Evangelists.

    • Cadis

      Well ok , I take that back . It depends on how you define and who is included in the definition Evangelical

    • Aaron

      Wow, Im liberal, didn’t know that peanut butter wasnt essential for salvation.

    • Curtis Poor

      I find this diagrams very interesting, but I think a few paragraph explanation would be very helpful. I’m not quite sure the point you are trying to make with them. But I am very intrigued by it.

    • Paul

      Regarding liberals Paul (or Pauline school) says it all to Timothy, (2 Tim: 3: They will “have a form of godliness but deny its power…. 6 They are always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

      If we look at the liberality in much of the US Episcopal Church there seems to be very little but a form of the tradition passed on!

    • George Jenkins

      with Adam1…………except for the part after the comma.

    • Steve Martin

      The center should be ‘Christ’ and everything else should be ‘us’.

      Of course, we want everything BUT Christ (alone) so the dots will be all over the map.

    • Michael

      Interesting idea. For Fundamentalists, I think that all but a few of the dots in the Essential for Salvation circle should be moved to the Essential for Orthodoxy circle.

    • Ed Kratz

      Please understand I am speaking about fundamentalist (more like an adj) not so much Fundamentalist (noun).

      The more fundamentalistic you are the more you will have everything essential for salvation. Maybe they would not explicitly put it this way, but their life, thoughts, and attitudes evidence this.

      Someone has said that they have never met a fundamentalistic type like that shown in the graph. They should get out more! It is simply called “legalism”. I have had people who doubt another’s salvation because they smoked, drank, went to movies, and (even) because they did not breast feed. I kid you not.

      But again, it is an attitude.

    • Phil Wood

      What the diagrams don’t show is movement. What direction are the dots travelling in? Given the Post-modernity is anti-institutional and anti-authoritarian I suspect that would be a factor pushing the ‘essential’ out to the edge. There again, there are reactionary centrifugal factors pulling the other way. I’m broadly on diagram three, mainly because there isn’t a diagram four which is even more extreme!

    • Kyle

      I really like this, and it seems pretty accurate, simple to understand, and great for clarity of what truly is reality. Doctrinal purity based on Scripture is always essential, vagueness within Scripture is rare but Scripture becomes all to vague when we start trying to put our feelings within Scriptural interpretation.

    • Randy

      Surprised how many are taking this a bit too seriously. I believe it’s posted tongue-in-cheek. But as with a lot of humor, there’s a little truth in there.

    • Ronnie

      Someone has said that they have never met a fundamentalistic type like that shown in the graph. They should get out more!

      Or just browse the web for a few minutes; “watchblogs” are a good place to start 🙂 It’s amazing how many Christians that I respect have “abandoned the faith” according to some.

    • david carlson

      This post is kind of like an inside joke. Those of us who have followed this blog for years get it, because it is a continutation of a number of posts – the backstory, so to speak. If you walk in to this post without having the history, it is going to seem a little odd.

      Having said that, I love this post and plan on printing to keep with me to share with others in the future.

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