Chapter 3, “Was Jesus a Fundamentalist?” (Loc. 339)
Socrates finds that he is already registered for his courses at Have It Divinity School. One of the courses is “Fundamentals of Demythologizing,” about which he asks his friend Bertha Broadmind. She explains that the course is about leaving fundamentalism, which she defines as “basically narrow-minded thinking, forcing everything into rigid, preconceived little categories” (Loc. 343). The topic of Christianity then arises. Socrates asks Bertha if she is a Christian and what that is. She does not answer his question, but explains she is a religion student, may seek to be a minister, and is not a fundamentalist. Bertha rejects fundamentalism because it teaches only a few are saved, which is the valid conclusion of the logic at work. Yet Bertha will not give a reason why she rejects the conclusion. She wishes to stop the conversation while Socrates wants to continue to the conclusion so as to know what fundamentalism is and why it is wrong.
Socrates pursues the source of information and finds that Bertha’s assumptions about fundamentalism are based on broad polls rather than consulting reliable and knowledgeable sources. He finds that Christianity is based on Jesus, the reliable authority. Socrates then insists on gathering what Jesus said about life, getting the information before interpreting it.