The Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth (generally referred to simply as The Fundamentals) is a set of ninety essays published between 1910 and 1915 by the Testimony Publishing Company of Chicago. It was initially published quarterly in twelve volumes, then republished in 1917 by the Bible Institute of Los Angeles as a four-volume set. Baker Books reprinted all four volumes under two covers in 2003.

According to its foreword, the publication was designed to be "a new statement of the fundamentals of Christianity".[1] However, its contents reflect a concern with certain theological innovations related to liberal Christianity, especially biblical higher criticism. It is widely considered to be the foundation of modern Christian fundamentalism.[2]

The project was conceived in 1909 by California businessman Lyman Stewart, the founder of Union Oil and a devout Presbyterian and dispensationalist. He and his brother Milton anonymously provided funds for composing, printing, and distributing the publication. The project had three successive editors: A. C. Dixon, Louis Meyer, and Reuben Archer Torrey. The essays were written by sixty-four different authors, representing most of the major Protestant Christian denominations. It was mailed free of charge to ministers, missionaries, professors of theology, YMCA and YWCA secretaries, Sunday school superintendents, and other Protestant religious workers in the United States and other English-speaking countries. Over three million volumes (250,000 sets) were sent out.[3]

The volumes defended classical Protestant doctrines and attacked the Roman Catholic Church ("Romanism"), higher criticism, liberal theology, socialism, modernism, atheism, Christian Science, Mormonism, Millennial Dawn (whose members were sometimes known as Russellites, but which later split into another group, adopting the name Jehovah's Witnesses), spiritualism, and what it called evolutionism.

The Fundamentals essays


Arrangement of the original 12-volume set:

  • Volume IX:
    • The True Church - Bishop Ryle
    • The Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch - George Frederick Wright
    • The Wisdom of this World - A. W. Pitzer
    • Holy Scripture and Modern Negations - James Orr
    • Salvation by Grace - Thomas Spurgeon
    • Divine Efficacy of Prayer - Arthur T. Pierson
    • What Christ Teaches Concerning Future Retribution - William C. Procter
    • A Message from Missions - Charles A. Bowen
    • Eddyism: Commonly Called Christian Science - Maurice E. Wilson
  • Volume XII:
    • Doctrines that Must be Emphasized in Successful Evangelism - L. W. Munhall
    • Pastoral and Personal Evangelism, or Winning Men to Christ One-by-One - John Timothy Stone
    • The Sunday School's True Evangelism - Charles Gallaudet Trumbull
    • Foreign Missions or World-Wide Evangelism - Robert E. Speer
    • What Missionary Motives Should Prevail? - Henry W. Frost
    • The Place of Prayer in Evangelism - R. A. Torrey
    • The Church and Socialism - Charles R. Erdman
    • The Fifteen Books Most Indispensable for the Minister or the Christian Worker


  1. ^ The Fundamentals. Chicago: Testimony Publishing Company. 1910. p. 4.
  2. ^ Khatab, Sayed (2011-12-15). Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism: The Theological and Ideological Basis of al-Qa'ida's Political Tactics. American University in Cairo Press. doi:10.5743/cairo/9789774164996.003.0002. ISBN 978-977-416-499-6.
  3. ^ Marsden, George M. (2006). Fundamentalism and American Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 118–119. ISBN 0-19-530047-5. OCLC 61445933.

Online texts


Further reading


  The Fundamentals public domain audiobook at LibriVox