Q & R: Fundamentalism?

Here’s the Q:

Doubt I will get an answer but In have to try.
In your books, there has been a few different places where you make a point that a term a fundamentalist uses (Inerrancy and Infalability) or some other word conservative Christians use that is not in the bible. If anything, you sound more propositional than I do. If this is the standard for hermeneutics, I am wandering if you can detail which passages of scriptures details the ideas or words of Emergence, Emerging, Emergent, and Emergentism? I looked in the bible and they are not there! (I use Logos 7 for my main bible study tool and that is where I looked).
On a different subject, am wandering if you could explain to me who in fundamentalism decided to do some reductionism and make fundamentalism a foundational construction? Charles Spurgeon? Maybe D. M. Moody? I keep reading how fundamentalism is supposed to be foundational but just cannot seem to find anywhere who decided to reduce doctrine down to the Fundamentals of the faith-to five doctrines? Was there a team of scholars who did this work or just one or two people? My big problem is usually with people who can tell me but cannot show me why something is true or false. Maybe that is the real reason I only lasted three semesters in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Bible College.
Back to my questions, so who decided fundamentalism would be foundational and who did the work to reduce everything down to five doctrines. Along with this, what did they reduce it from and could they reduce it even further? I would say yes.
Thanks for at least reading my email to you
Here’s the R:
Thanks for your question. The very best book I can recommend to help with your questions about fundamentalism and foundationalism would be Beyond Foundationalism by John Franke and Stan Grenz. Another great book on the subject  – but a bit more philosophical/academic – is Nancey Murphy’s Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism.
As you’ll see from both of these books, the roots of fundamentalism go back way before Moody in the 20th century and even before Spurgeon in the 19th. You could go back to Descartes in the 17th Century, and even farther back than that.
If you want to read a contemporary site that reflects a fundamentalist emphasis on “the five fundamentals,” here’s one:
You might also be interested in a CT article on the origins of American Christian fundamentalism, highlighting the close relationship between Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism.
There are social and political dimensions to American fundamentalism that I think are important to understand as well. Two voices I respect on these dimensions are Randall Balmer and Kevin Kruse. Their books are excellent, and you can also read them online. You might check out:
You might be interested in my chapter on Fundamentalism in A Generous Orthodoxy too (Chapter 12). There I wrote (playfully, but seriously too):
For me the “fundamentals of the faith” boil down to those given by Jesus: to love God and to love our neighbors. These two fundamentals will not satisfy many fundamentalists, I fear. They’ll insist on asking, “Which God are we supposed to love? The God of the Baptists or the Brethren, the God of the Calvinists or the Methodists, the God of the Muslims or the Jews?” I’ll respond by saying, “Whichever God Jesus was referring to.” Then, still unsatisfied, they’ll probably ask, “What exactly do you mean by love? And who is my neighbor?” At that point I’ll probably mutter something incoherent about Samaritans and walk away.
My most recent book begins with a more extended reflection on love-centered Christianity – The Great Spiritual Migration.