- Part I: New Evangelicalism - Its History
- Part II: New Evangelicalism - Its Chracteristics
- Part III: New Evangelicalism - Its Fruits
The following is part three of a three-part article, first published in 1995 under the title of Fundamentalism, Modernism, and New-Evangelicalism.
THE APOSTATE FRUIT OF NEW EVANGELICALISM
“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Cor. 5:6).
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33).
“The New Evangelicalism advocates TOLERATION of error. It is following the downward path of ACCOMMODATION to error, COOPERATION with error, CONTAMINATION by error, and ultimate CAPITULATION to error!” (Charles Woodbridge, The New Evangelicalism, 1969, pp. 9, 15; Dr. Woodbridge was a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in its early days, a founding member of the National Association of Evangelicals, and a friend of men such as Harold Ockenga and Carl Henry, but he rejected the New Evangelicalism and spent the rest of his life warning of its dangers.).
New Evangelicals have refused to separate from error, and it is no surprise that doctrinal corruption has permeated the movement.
Note that the downward path does not begin with ecumenical associations or with denying the infallibility of Scripture. It begins with a simple attitude of toleration toward error. It begins with the preacher deciding he doesn’t want to do a lot of fighting against false doctrine; he is opposed to false doctrine, but he simply wants to have a more positive emphasis in his ministry.
That “little” compromise with the truth; that “little” disobedience toward his preaching commission (e.g., 2 Tim. 4:1-4; Titus 2:11-15; Eph. 5:11) leads to some very large changes as he follows this path to its ultimate conclusion. This downward path is true both for individuals, for churches, and for organizations, associations, and denominations. Each passing decade witnesses more plainly to the truth of Dr. Woodbridge’s observations. Toleration of error leads to accommodation, cooperation, contamination, and ultimate capitulation. This describes the history of New Evangelicalism precisely.
THE WITNESS OF EVANGELICALS THEMSELVES AS TO THE APOSTASY OF EVANGELICALISM IN GENERAL
Harold Lindsell, who was vice-president of Fuller Seminary and editor of Christianity Today:
“Evangelicalism today is in a sad state of disarray. ... It is clear that evangelicalism is now broader and shallower, and is becoming more so. Evangelicalism’s children are in the process of forsaking the faith of their fathers” (Lindsell, Christian News, Dec. 2, 1985).
Francis Schaeffer, speaking at the 1976 National Association of Evangelicals convention:
“What is the use of evangelicalism seeming to get larger and larger in number if significant numbers of those under the name of ‘evangelical’ no longer hold to that which makes evangelicalism evangelical?” (Schaeffer, “The Watershed of the Evangelical World: Biblical Inspiration”).
A 1996 Moody Press book entitled The Coming Evangelical Crisis documented the apostasy of Evangelicalism.
“... evangelicalism in the 1990s is an amalgam of diverse and often theologically ill-defined groups, institutions, and traditions. ... THE THEOLOGICAL UNITY THAT ONCE MARKED THE MOVEMENT HAS GIVEN WAY TO A THEOLOGICAL PLURALISM THAT WAS PRECISELY WHAT MANY OF THE FOUNDERS OF MODERN EVANGELICALISM HAD REJECTED IN MAINLINE PROTESTANTISM. ... Evangelicalism is not healthy in conviction or spiritual discipline. Our theological defenses have been let down, and the infusion of revisionist theologies has affected large segments of evangelicalism. Much damage has already been done, but a greater crisis yet threatens” (R. Albert Mohler, Jr., “Evangelical What’s in a Name?” The Coming Evangelical Crisis, 1996, pp. 32, 33, 36).
SPECIFIC AREAS OF APOSTASY WITHIN NEW EVANGELICALISM:
1. EVANGELICALISM’S APOSTASY IS SEEN IN DOCTRINE: QUESTIONING BIBLICAL INFALLIBILITY
JESUS CHRIST: “…the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35)
APOSTLE PAUL: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16)
APOSTLE PETER: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).
GENERAL STATEMENTS OF THIS APOSTASY IN DOCTRINE:
The testimony of Frank Gaebelein in 1960: “...we must not blink at the evidence that there is a strong current among some evangelicals, a subtle erosion of the doctrine of the infallibility of the Scripture that is highly illogical as well as dangerous” (Christianity Today, May 9, 1960, p. 647).
Testimony of Carl Henry, 1976: “A GROWING VANGUARD OF YOUNG GRADUATES OF EVANGELICAL COLLEGES WHO HOLD DOCTORATES FROM NON-EVANGELICAL DIVINITY CENTERS NOW QUESTION OR DISOWN INERRANCY and the doctrine is held less consistently by evangelical faculties. … Some retain the term and reassure supportive constituencies but nonetheless stretch the term’s meaning” (Carl F.H. Henry, pastor senior editor of Christianity Today, “Conflict Over Biblical Inerrancy,” Christianity Today, May 7, 1976).
Also in 1976 Richard Quebedeaux, author of The Young Evangelicals and The Worldly Evangelicals, added the following details:
“Most people outside the evangelical community itself are totally unaware of the profound changes that have occurred within evangelicalism during the last several years--in the movement’s understanding of the inspiration and authority of Scripture, in its social concerns, cultural attitudes and ecumenical posture, and in the nature of its emerging leadership. ... evangelical theologians have begun looking at the Bible with a scrutiny reflecting THEIR WIDESPREAD ACCEPTANCE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF HISTORICAL AND LITERARY CRITICISM ... The position--affirming that Scripture is inerrant or infallible in its teaching on matters of faith and conduct but not necessarily in all its assertions concerning history and the cosmos--IS GRADUALLY BECOMING ASCENDANT AMONG THE MOST HIGHLY RESPECTED EVANGELICAL THEOLOGIANS. ... these new trends ... indicate that evangelical theology is becoming more centrist, more open to biblical criticism and more accepting of science and broad cultural analysis. ONE MIGHT EVEN SUGGEST THAT THE NEW GENERATION OF EVANGELICALS IS CLOSER TO BONHOEFFER, BARTH AND BRUNNER THAN TO HODGE AND WARFIELD ON THE INSPIRATION AND AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE” (Richard Quebedeaux, “The Evangelicals: New Trends and Tensions,” Christianity and Crisis, Sept. 20, 1976, pp. 197-202).
In 1976 and 1979 Harold Lindsell published two volumes on the downgrade of the Bible in Evangelicalism, with particular focus on Fuller Seminary, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The Battle for the Bible appeared in 1976, and the sequel, The Bible in the Balance, came out in 1979. This careful documentation by a man who was in the inner circle of evangelicalism’s leadership for many decades leaves no doubt that the evangelical world of the last half of the twentieth century is leavened with apostasy.
“MORE AND MORE ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS HISTORICALLY COMMITTED TO AN INFALLIBLE SCRIPTURE HAVE BEEN EMBRACING AND PROPAGATING THE VIEW THAT THE BIBLE HAS ERRORS IN IT. This movement away from the historic standpoint has been most noticeable among those often labeled neo-evangelicals. This change of position with respect to the infallibility of the Bible is widespread and has occurred in evangelical denominations, Christian colleges, theological seminaries, publishing houses, and learned societies” (Harold Lindsell, former vice-president and professor Fuller Theological Seminary and Editor Emeritus of Christianity Today, The Battle for the Bible, 1976, p. 20).
“I must regretfully conclude that the term evangelical has been so debased that it has lost its usefulness. ... Forty years ago the term evangelical represented those who were theologically orthodox and who held to biblical inerrancy as one of the distinctives. ... WITHIN A DECADE OR SO NEOEVANGELICALISM . . . WAS BEING ASSAULTED FROM WITHIN BY INCREASING SKEPTICISM WITH REGARD TO BIBLICAL INFALLIBILITY OR INERRANCY” (Harold Lindsell, The Bible in the Balance, 1979, p. 319).
In his 1978 book, The Worldly Evangelicals, Richard Quebedeaux warned that many evangelical scholars are deceitful about their doctrinal heresies: “Prior to the 60s, virtually all the seminaries and colleges associated with the neo-evangelicals and their descendants adhered to the total inerrancy understanding of biblical authority (at least they did not vocally express opposition to it). But it is a well-known fact that A LARGE NUMBER, IF NOT MOST, OF THE COLLEGES AND SEMINARIES IN QUESTION NOW HAVE FACULTY WHO NO LONGER BELIEVE IN TOTAL INERRANCY, even in situations where their employers still require them to sign the traditional declaration that the Bible is ‘verbally inspired,’ ‘inerrant,’ ‘infallible in the whole and in the part,’ or to affirm in other clearly defined words the doctrine of inerrancy that was formulated by the Old Princeton school of theology and passed on to fundamentalism. SOME OF THESE FACULTY INTERPRET THE CRUCIAL CREEDAL CLAUSES IN A MANNER THE ORIGINAL FRAMERS WOULD NEVER HAVE ALLOWED, OTHERS SIMPLY SIGN THE AFFIRMATION WITH TONGUE IN CHEEK” (Quebedeaux, The Worldly Evangelicals, p. 30).
Testimony of Francis Schaeffer, 1983: “WITHIN EVANGELICALISM THERE ARE A GROWING NUMBER WHO ARE MODIFYING THEIR VIEWS ON THE INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE SO THAT THE FULL AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE IS COMPLETELY UNDERCUT. … Accommodation, accommodation. How the mindset of accommodation grows and expands. . . . With tears we must say that largely it is not there and that A LARGE SEGMENT OF THE EVANGELICAL WORLD HAS BECOME SEDUCED BY THE WORLD SPIRIT OF THIS PRESENT AGE” (Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, 1983, pp. 44,141).
In 1985 the following summary of the downgrade of the doctrine of inspiration by today’s evangelical leaders was given by Herman Hanko: “My main concern is with those who profess to believe that the Bible is the Word of God and yet by, what I can only call surreptitious and devious means, deny it. This is, surprisingly enough, a position that is taken widely in the evangelical world. Almost all of the literature which is produced in the evangelical world today falls into this category. In the October 1985 issue of Christianity Today, (the very popular and probably most influential voice of evangelicals in America), a symposium on Bible criticism was featured. The articles were written by scholars from several evangelical seminaries. Not one of the participants in that symposium in Christianity Today was prepared to reject higher criticism. All came to its defense. IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT ALL THE SCHOLARS FROM THE LEADING SEMINARIES IN THIS COUNTRY HELD TO A FORM OF HIGHER CRITICISM. These men claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God. At the same time they adopt higher critical methods in the explanation of the Scriptures. This has become so common in evangelical circles that IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND AN EVANGELICAL PROFESSOR IN THE THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS OF OUR LAND AND ABROAD WHO STILL HOLDS UNCOMPROMISINGLY TO THE DOCTRINE OF THE INFALLIBLE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES. The insidious danger is that higher criticism is promoted by those who claim to believe in infallible inspiration” (Herman Hanko, The Battle for the Bible, pp. 2, 3; Hanko’s book should not be confused with Harold Lindsell’s book by that same name; Hanko is a professor at the Protestant Reformed Seminary, Grandville, Michigan).
An exposure of the corruption of doctrine in the evangelical world appeared in 1993 in No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? by David F. Wells, a professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Time magazine described Well’s book as “a stinging indictment of evangelicalism’s theological corruption.” Though Wells is himself a committed New Evangelical, he properly identifies evangelicalism’s chief problem as its repudiation of biblical separation and its accommodation with the world:
“Fundamentalism always had an air of embattlement about it, of being an island in a sea of unremitting hostility. Evangelicalism has reacted against this sense of psychological isolation. It has lowered the barricades. It is open to the world. The great sin of fundamentalism is to compromise; the great sin in evangelicalism is to be narrow” (emphasis added) (David Wells, No Place for Truth, p. 129).
Wells also made a telling statement that acknowledges precisely where the New Evangelical world is today:
“But in between these far shores [Anglo-Catholicism and fundamentalism] lie the choppy waters that most evangelicals now ply with their boats, and here the winds of modernity blow with disconcerting force, fragmenting what it means to be evangelical. This is because evangelicals have allowed their confessional center to dissipate” (p. 128).
1995, theology conference sponsored jointly with Inter-Varsity at Wheaton College: “NOT A SINGLE REPRESENTATIVE OF HISTORIC EVANGELICAL ORTHODOXY COMMITTED TO THE UNBROKEN AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE WAS FEATURED...” (Calvary Contender, July 1, 1995).
In 1995, Dr. Carl Henry was continuing to warn about unbelief within evangelical circles: “Much of the same revolt against truth emerged during the recent theology conference of postliberal speakers sponsored jointly with Inter-Varsity at Wheaton College. NOT A SINGLE REPRESENTATIVE OF HISTORIC EVANGELICAL ORTHODOXY COMMITTED TO THE UNBROKEN AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE WAS FEATURED...” (Calvary Contender, July 1, 1995).
In 1997 Oliver Barclay in England wrote: “University theology in the twentieth century has been both highly reductionist and also very rationalistic. ... Theological study has been high rationalist, and this has produced a tradition of believing only what can be rationally justified. Evangelicals working in this milieu have followed the tradition and argued for a conservative position on exclusively ration grounds. ... No university in Britain would now boast that for them ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’. ... We cannot continue to teach theology through a rationalist methodology and expect to produce anything other than liberal evangelicals” (Barclay, Evangelicalism in Britain: 1935-1995: A Personal Sketch, pp. 128-9, 131).
Carl Trueman of the University of Aberdeen wrote in 1998: “One need only look at many of the works emerging from contemporary evangelical scholars to find that the notion of scriptural authority as understood in any of its classical, orthodox ways has in general been replaced either by the concepts of neo-orthodoxy or simply by silence on the most prickly issues. The enemies are too often Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield and Carl Henry” (“The Impending Evangelical Crisis,” Evangelicals Now, Feb. 1998).
In 1999 John Wenham, one of the founders of the Tyndale Fellowship which had the objective of launching evangelicals into the theological departments of liberal British universities, admitted that “conservatives had largely abandoned their role as an opposition to the current liberal criticism of the Bible and had become part of the establishment” (Wenham, Facing Hell: An Autobiography 1913-1996, p. 140).
In 2000, Iain Murray, a founding trustee of the Banner of Truth Trust in Scotland, published a stinging indictment of the downgrade of evangelical theology in Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000. Murray demonstrates that “the new policy involved concessions which seriously weakened biblical Christianity.” He traces the changes within evangelicalism in Britain since the emergence of the Billy Graham approach and documents the downward theological spiral that has resulted by the takeover of New Evangelicalism.
BERNARD RAMM (1916-1992) was Director of Graduate Studies in Religion at Baylor University and later was Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Apologetics at California Baptist Theological Seminary. Ramm’s 1955 book The Christian View of Science and Scripture was reprinted by Moody Press and approved by Fuller Seminary professors Edward J. Carnell and Wilbur Smith, as well as by Elving Anderson of Bethel College. Ramm claimed that the Bible was only inerrantly inspired in all matters and that it contains mistakes in areas such as science and history. He said, “Whatever in the Scripture is in direct reference to natural things is most likely in terms of the prevailing cultural concepts.” He accepted theistic evolution, denied that the Noahic flood was worldwide, explained many of the Exodus miracles in a naturalistic manner, denied that the sun stood still in Joshua’s day, etc.
HAROLD BASS, BETHEL SEMINARY. “Many of us admit that the bible unquestionably contains factual errors ... but we still maintain that it is inerrant in divine purpose. The secret is to try to understand the context of the language and the logic used in writing the Bible” (Dr. Harold Bass of Bethel Seminary, quoted by Jim Huffman, “Conservative View of Theology Is Changing,” Minneapolis Tribune, Jan. 22, 1966).
PAUL JEWETT of Fuller Seminary, in Man as Male and Female (Eerdmans, 1975), said: “Genesis 1 is not a literal piece of scientific reporting, but a narrative which illumines the ultimate meaning of Man’s existence. … religious myth or saga, biblical allegory” (pp. 122,123).
DONALD BLOESCH, in the book Holy Scripture (InterVarsity Press, 1994), said: “The Fundamentalists idea that inspiration entails inerrancy in history and science as well as in doctrine is not claimed by the Bible. … Fundamentalism espouses a static theory of inspiration. God’s Word cannot be encapsulated in either legal codes or clerical pronouncements. Inspiration is an event in which God acts and speaks” (p. 97).
CHARLES SCALISE is affiliated with Fuller Seminary. He is associate professor of church history and academic director of Fuller Theological Seminary in Seattle’s M. Div. program. In his book From Scripture to Theology: A Canonical Journey into Hermeneutics (InterVarsity Press, 1996), Scalise argues for the schizophrenic position of accepting the conclusions of biblical criticism while at the same time holding the Bible as the “canonical Word of God.” He proposes the “canonical approach” of Yale Professor Brevard Childs who follows Karl Barth. Scalise uncritically describes how “the ‘postcritical’ hermeneutics of Karl Barth assists Childs in charting his way across ‘the desert of criticism’“ (p. 44). It is true that modern biblical criticism is a desert, but instead of rejecting biblical criticism as the unbelieving heresy that it is, the modern Evangelical scholar tries to reconcile it with a way to allow the Bible to remain authoritative in some sense. In the first chapter of his book, Scalise plainly and unhesitatingly rejects the “facts-of-revelation” approach to Scripture that accepts the Bible as the historically accurate record of God’s infallible revelation (pp. 28-31). Scalise does not believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch under divine inspiration or that the Old Testament record of miracles is accurate. He believes the Pentateuch was written by unknown editors centuries later (p. 56). He believes the Bible’s accounts of miraculous events are exaggerated. For example, he believes that the Egyptian chariots pursuing Israel got “stuck in the mud” (p. 39) rather than being overwhelmed by God’s miraculous dividing and undividing of the waters. He agrees with Karl Barth that the book of Numbers contains both “history” and “storylike saga” (p. 49). He believes portions of Amos were added by an unknown editor (p. 56). He believes that to view the Bible as historical is dangerous (p. 79). He does not believe the Psalms are historical writings (p. 78). He does not believe that the Apostle Paul wrote the book of Ephesians nor that it was originally addressed to the church at Ephesus, and he doesn’t believe it matters (p. 58). Scalise wants to allow the Catholic apocrpyhal books to be accepted as canonical (pp. 60,61). He commends an approach to biblical canon which has “a firm center and blurred edges” (p. 60). Scalise says, “The Bible is the Word of God because God speaks through it” (p. 22). That is a false, subjective Barthian view of Scripture. In fact, the Bible is the Word of God because it is the Word of God, regardless of whether man feels that God is speaking through it. Scalise claims that comparisons of the Trinity to the self by theologians like Karl Rahner and comparisons of the Trinity to community by theologians like Leonard Hodgson and Jurgen Moltmann “are within the channel of orthodoxy” (p. 103). He does not like the “negative view of tradition” that comes from the Protestant Reformation, and he believes the Protestants and Catholics simply misunderstood one another (p. 73). He believes it is possible to reconcile the differences by requiring that the Bible be interpreted within the context of church tradition (p. 74). In fact, if the Bible must be interpreted by tradition, the tradition becomes the superior authority. In the preface to his book, Scalise notes that he was guided into his critical views of the Bible during studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Tubingen in Germany.
WAYS IN WHICH NEW EVANGELICALS UNDERMINE THE DOCTRINE OF INSPIRATION:
1. Inspiration is undermined by distinguishing between its divine and human aspects.
Note: This is a distinction that Jesus and the apostles did not make. Jesus used “the law of Moses” and “the law of God” as synonyms. Paul said the Scriptures were written by inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16). He did not focus on the human element in Scripture, only on the divine. Peter said it was the Holy Spirit who spake through the prophets (1 Pet. 1:10-11), who moved them as they spoke (2 Pet. 1:21).
2. Inspiration is undermined by dividing the cultural and scientific aspect of Scripture from the theological.
Note: “If the Bible is only partly inspired and partly trustworthy, who is to determine which part is the authentic Word of God? ... no one has ever shown where a line can be safely drawn. The imagined line is constantly moving and that because, in the end, no such divisions are tenable ...The only alternatives are an acceptance of the truthfulness of all Scripture or a questioning of the whole” (Iain Murray, Evangelicalism Divided, pp. 200, 201).
3. Inspiration is undermined by claiming that God’s thoughts are too great to be contained infallibly in a book written in human words.
Note: Human language was created by God and the individual words of Scripture were chosen by God; the Scripture therefore contains the deep things of God and the very mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:9-16).
4. Inspiration is undermined by claiming that to be bound by the letter of the Scripture is legalism and bibliolatry.
Note: Jesus taught us to revere the very words and letters of the Scripture (Mat. 4:4; 5:18). The Bible believer does not worship the Scriptures; he worships the God of the Scriptures; but he understands that God has revealed Himself infallibly in the Scriptures. It is God who has exalted the Scriptures, having magnified His word above his name (Psalm 138:2). It is the devil who has always questioned God’s Word (Gen. 3:1), and those who question the inerrancy of the Bible today are of the devil.
What about 2 Corinthians 3:6? What does Paul mean when he says that “the letter killeth”? The ecumenical crowd uses this verse to support their principle that we should not be too strict in biblical matters, but this is not what Paul is saying.
Elsewhere Paul teaches that we should be very strict and should believe and obey everything in the New Testament faith (i.e., Eph. 5:11; 1 Thess. 5:22; 1 Tim. 1:3; 6:13-14; Titus 2:11-15).
When Paul says the “letter killeth” he is referring to the law of Moses. In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul is contrasting the law of Moses with the New Testament faith and is saying that we are not ministers of the old law but of the new; we are not preaching the Law of Moses but the Gospel of Christ; we are not following the Law of Moses but the new law of the Spirit. The reason the law of Moses kills is that its purpose is to reveal man’s sin and guilt (Rom. 3:19-20). In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul was warning against the Judaizers who tried to mingle the grace of Christ with the Law. See Acts 15 and Galatians 1:6-9; 2:16-21; 3:1-3, 19-26.
5. Inspiration is undermined by claiming that the Bible can be inspired in whole but still contain error. This strange position was taken by Fuller Theological Seminary when it changed its doctrinal statement in 1972. The original statement said that the Bible is “plenarily inspired and free from all error in the whole and in the part.” The new statement eliminated “free from all error in the whole and in the part,” thus leaving room for the heretical view that the Bible contains errors, a view held by the dean of the Seminary, Daniel Fuller, and the President, David Hubbard, and many Fuller professors.
Note: Jesus taught that Scripture cannot be broken (Jn. 10:35). It stands or falls together.
6. Inspiration is undermined by distinguishing between “infallible” and “inerrant.” David Bebbington of Stirling University proposes that IVF’s statement on Scripture “affirmed not the inerrancy of the Bible but the infallibility of Holy Scripture, as originally given” (Evangelicalism in Modern Britain, p. 259).
Note: An infallible Bible is an inerrant Bible!
7. Inspiration is undermined by exalting the authority of Christ above the authority of the Bible.
Note: We know nothing of Christ except that which is taught in the Bible. The authority of the Bible and the authority of Christ stand or fall together. Jesus pointed to the Scripture as the authoritative witness to Himself (Jn. 5:39; Lk. 24:44); He never as much as hinted that the Scripture is less than 100% authoritative. He upheld the authority of every word (Mat. 4:4; Lk. 4:4) and even of the jots and tittles (Mat. 5:18). He said the “Scripture cannot be broken” (Jn. 10:35), meaning that it is all authoritative and cannot be divided. It stands or falls together. The apostles taught the same thing (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21). For them, the very gospel itself stood or fell on the authority of the Scripture (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
8. Inspiration is undermined by exalting intellectualism above the infallibility of Scripture. Mark Noll claims that “keen preoccupation with the doctrine of biblical inerrancy” must be given up “so the life of the mind may have a chance” (Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, pp. 243-4).
Note: The infallibility of Scripture is the truth as taught by Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life; and the truth is never in contradiction to true intellectualism, only to phony humanistic intellectualism.
9. Inspiration is undermined by claiming that the doctrine of verbal inspiration was a product of 19th century Presbyterians, especially Charles Hodge and B.B. Warfield.
Note: The doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture was taught by Jesus Christ and the apostles in the first century and it has been held by God’s people throughout the church age. The Doctrinal Confessions of the 16th to 18th centuries demonstrate this. Richard Hooker, in the late 16th century, wrote that he authors of Scripture “neither spoke nor wrote one word of their own: but uttered syllable by syllable as the Spirit put it into their mouths” (cited from Iain Murray, Evangelicalism Divided, p. 194). The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1648, stated: “The Old Testament in Hebrew . . . and the New Testament in Greek . . . being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them.” John Owen, English Puritan leader, stated in about 1670: “But yet we affirm, that the whole Word of God, in every letter and tittle, as given from him by inspiration, is preserved without corruption” (Works, XVI, p. 301). Francis Turretin, professor of theology at Geneva and prominent Reformed Protestant leader, stated in 1674: “Nor can we readily believe that God, who dictated and inspired each and every word to these inspired men, would not take care of their entire preservation” (Francis Turretin, Institutio Theologicae Elencticae). The Protestant Confession of Faith, London, 1679, which was a Baptist confession, stated: “And by the holy scriptures we understand, the canonical books of the old and new testament, as they are now translated into our English mother-tongue, of which there hath never been any doubt of their verity and authority, in the protestant churches of Christ to this day.” This quotes could be multiplied greatly, because this represented the consensus of Protestant and Baptist churches until they were weakened by theological modernism in the 19th and 20th centuries. The New Evangelicals who are questioning the inerrant inspiration of Scripture are only imitating their modernist associates.
10. Inspiration is undermined by retaining the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture while allowing this doctrine to be undermined by historic criticism. For example, D.A. Carson co-edited the book Scripture and Truth with John Woodbridge, calling for a strong doctrine of inspiration; yet Carson encourages the use of form criticism of the Gospels and claims that we only have the “ideas” of Jesus and not His very words (An Introduction to the New Testament by D.A. Carson, Douglas Moo, Leon Morris, p. 44). Carson buys into the liberal idea that “there was indeed a period of mainly oral transmission of the gospel materials; much of it was probably in small units; there probably was a tendency for this material to take on certain standard forms; and the early church has undoubtedly influenced the way in which this material was handed down” (An Introduction to the New Testament, pp. 23, 24). These ideas were developed by men who do not believe in divine inspiration and are a blatant denial of inspiration and upon their very face these theories are a denial of inspiration, yet Carson is accepted as an evangelical scholar who defends inspiration!
2. EVANGELICALISM’S APOSTASY IS SEEN IN ITS ECUMENISM.
The prime example of this is Billy Graham and other evangelists and organizations who yoke together with Roman Catholicism, modernistic Protestant denominations, etc.
Billy Graham and Rome
“It would be difficult to overestimate Billy Graham’s importance in the last 50 years of evangelicalism. ... Graham personally embodied most of the characteristics of resurgent evangelicalism. ... de-emphasizing doctrinal and denominational differences that often divided Christians” (Christianity Today, “Can Evangelicalism Survive Its Success?” Oct. 5, 1992).
1944 – Graham’s uncritical relationship with Rome began very early in his ministry. In his 1997 autobiography, Graham gives an account of how he first met the influential Catholic bishop Fulton Sheen when he was still a relatively unknown evangelist with Youth for Christ. In 1944 Graham was traveling on a train from Washington to New York and was just drifting off to sleep when Sheen knocked on the sleeping compartment and asked to “come in for a chat and a prayer” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 692). Graham says: “We talked about our ministries and our common commitment to evangelism, and I told him how grateful I was for his ministry and his focus on Christ. … We talked further and we prayed; and by the time he left, I felt as if I had known him all my life.” The fact is that Sheen had no commitment to biblical evangelism. He preached Rome’s false sacramental gospel, and in his autobiography, which was dedicated to Mary, he stated that he had put his trust in Mary to get him into heaven. “When I was ordained, I took a resolution to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist every Saturday to the Blessed Mother ... All this makes me very certain that when I go before the Judgment Seat of Christ, He will say to me in His Mercy: ‘I heard My Mother speak of you’” (Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure in Clay, p. 317).
1952 – “Many of the people who have reached a decision on Christ at our meetings have joined the Catholic church and we have received commendations from Catholic publications for the revived interest in their church following one of our campaigns. This happened both in Boston and Washington.” (Sept. 6, 1952, Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph).
1956 -- Graham said: “We’ll send them to their own churches--Roman Catholic, Protestant or Jewish” New York Evening Journal on Sept. 18, 1956).
1958 – A follow-up of Graham’s San Francisco crusade reported that of the 1300 Catholics who came forward, “practically all remained Catholic, continued to pray to Mary, go to Mass, and confess to a priest” (Oakland Tribune, Dec. 17, 1958)
1962 – Sao Paulo Brazil, a Catholic bishop stood beside Graham and blessed inquirers who came forward in response to his preaching.
1963 – Upon the death of Pope John XXIII, Graham said: “I admire Pope John tremendously. I felt he brought a new era to the world. It is my hope that the Cardinals elect a new Pope who will follow the same line as John. It would be a great tragedy if they chose a man who reacted against John, who re-erected the walls.”
1967 – Graham was awarded an honorary degree from Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey College. In his acceptance speech, he said: “The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation” (Gastonia Gazette, Gastonia, NC, Nov. 22, 1967).
1973 -- In Milwaukee on October 21, 1973, Graham said, “This past week I preached in a great Catholic Cathedral a funeral sermon for a close friend of mind who was a Catholic [publisher James Strohn Copley], and they had several bishops and archbishops to participate, and as I sat there going through THE FUNERAL MASS THAT WAS A VERY BEAUTIFUL THING AND CERTAINLY STRAIGHT AND CLEAR IN THE GOSPEL, I believe, there was a wonderful little priest that would tell me when to stand and when to kneel and what to do.” (Billy Graham, Church League of America, p. 84).
1978 -- In October Graham held a crusade in Catholic Poland. Upon being met at the airport by Bishop Wladyslaw Miziolek, chairman of the Committee on Ecumenism of the Polish Catholic Church, Graham said that this adventure represented a new spirit of cooperation that was a constructive example for Christians in other nations (John Pollock, Billy Graham, p. 308). Four of the rallies were held in Catholic churches, with priests participating on the platform with Graham. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, soon to be Pope John Paul II, had offered his 700-year-old St. Anne’s Church in Cracow, but just before Graham’s arrival in Poland, Wojtyla was unexpectedly called away to the conclave in Rome to meet with the College of Cardinals, and a few days later he was elected Pope. While in Poland Graham visited the Marian shrine of Jasna Gora (featuring an icon of the Black Madonna) in Czestochowa. A picture in Decision magazine for February 1979 shows Graham welcoming pilgrims to the shrine. In the minds of his Catholic observers, this ill-advised visit put Graham’s stamp of approval upon the idolatrous Catholic Mary veneration that is featured at this influential shrine. In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II testifies that his personal devotion to Mary was developed at Marian sites “at Jasna Gora” (p. 220).
1979 – A special Catholic mass was conducted following Graham’s crusade in Milwaukee as part of the follow-up for 3500 Catholics who came forward during the meetings and whose names were turned over to Catholic churches.
1979 – Upon Bishop Fulton Sheen’s death Graham said: “He broke down walls of prejudice between Catholics and Protestants ... I mourn his death and look forward to our reunion in heaven.” Sheen had stated that his hope for eternity was in Mary.
1982 – 100 priests and Catholic laity were trained to follow-up Graham’s crusade in Boston.
1984 – Vancouver, British Columbia, crusade vice-chairman David Cline stated: “If Catholics step forward there will be no attempt to convert them and their names will be given to the Catholic church nearest their homes” (Vancouver Sun, Oct. 5, 1984).
1987 – A priest and a nun were among the supervisors of the counselors for the Denver crusade; from one service alone 500 cards of individuals were referred to St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church.
1989 – 2,100 Catholics who came forward during Graham’s London crusades were referred to Catholic churches.
1992 – Catholics supplied 6,000 of the 10,000 counselors for the Portland, Oregon, crusade.
1997 -- Graham was so corrupted by his ecumenical alliances that he stated in an interview with David Frost: “I feel I belong to all the churches. I’m equally at home in an Anglican or Baptist or a Brethren assembly or a Roman Catholic church. ... Today we have almost 100 percent Catholic support in this country. That was not true twenty years ago. And the bishops and archbishops and the Pope are our friends” (David Frost, Billy Graham in Conversation, May 30, 1997, pp. 68, 143).
EVANGELICALS AND CATHOLICS TOGETHER
In March 1994 a 25-page document was published entitled Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium. The document is called ECT for short. While this document does not represent the official position of any denomination, it does represent the ecumenical climate created by the New Evangelicalism.
The document was prepared by 15 evangelicals and Catholics and signed by 25 others, including Chuck Colson, Pat Robertson, J.I. Packer, John White (president of Geneva College and former president of the NAE), Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade), Kent Hill (Eastern Nazarene College), Os Guiness, Mark Noll (Wheaton College), Thomas Oden (Drew University). ECT was also signed by two Catholic archbishops, William Murphy of Boston and Francis Stafford of Denver, and a Catholic cardinal, John O’Connor.
Richard Land and Larry Lewis of the Southern Baptist Convention signed the document; in fact, they where involved in its development from the inception of the project. In 1995, they were forced to retract their signatures. They expressed regrets to Chuck Colson for having to withdraw their signatures, but saw this as the only way to eliminate the confusion and persistent perception that their agencies had endorsed ECT (Indiana Baptist, April 18, 1995). “Much of the criticism of ECT came from Hispanic So. Baptist leaders who feared Catholic leaders would use it to thwart mission efforts among Catholics” (Calvary Contender, May 15, 1995).
Some statements from the document:
Pope John Paul II is quoted two times in the document. The first time appears in the second paragraph, citing the Pope’s belief that the Third Millennium could be “a springtime of world missions.” There is no warning that the Pope preaches a false gospel and that his mission therefore is not the same as that of Bible-believing churches.
“We together pray for the fulfillment of the prayer of Our Lord: ‘May they all be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, so also may they be in us, that the one, may believe that you sent me.’ (John 17) We together, Evangelicals and Catholics, confess our sins against the unity that Christ intends for all his disciples.”
“The one Christ and one mission includes many other Christians, notably the Eastern Orthodox and those Protestants not commonly identified as Evangelical. All Christians are encompassed in the prayer, ‘May they all be one.’”
“As Evangelicals and Catholics, we dare not by needless and loveless conflict between ourselves give aid and comfort to the enemies of the cause of Christ.”
“All who accept Christ as Lord and Savior are brothers and sisters in Christ. Evangelicals and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ. ... There is one church because there is one Christ and the church is his body. However difficult the way, we recognize that we are called by God to a fuller realization of our unity in the body of Christ.”
“In the exercise of these public responsibilities there has been in recent years a growing convergence and cooperation between Evangelicals and Catholics. We thank God for the discovery of one another in contending for a common cause. Much more important, we thank God for the discovery of one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.”
“We condemn the practice of recruiting people from another community for purposes of denominational or institutional aggrandizement. ... in view of the large number of non-Christians in the world and the enormous challenge of our common evangelistic task, it is neither theologically legitimate nor a prudent use of resources for one Christian community to proselytize among active adherents of another Christian community.”
“As is evident in the two thousand year history of the church, and in our contemporary experience, there are different ways of being Christian...”
“As evangelicals and Catholics, we dare not by needless and loveless conflict between ourselves give aid and comfort to the enemies of the cause of Christ.”
Though some evangelicals disagreed with the ECT and some even made public statements renouncing it, they refused to separate from the signers.
For example, Dallas Seminary released the following statement in January 1995: “Though Dallas Seminary affirms areas of agreement in the moral and social arenas, we strongly question whether Evangelicals and Catholics can ever 'unite on the great truths of the faith.’ However, we will maintain fellowship with those Evangelicals who did sign the document” (Dallas Morning News, May 20, 1995).
That same month John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and D. James Kennedy criticized ECT in a televised program called “Irreconcilable Differences,” but they “took care to present the motives of Packer and Colson in the best possible light and to express their distress over the division which had emerged among them” (Iain Murray, Evangelicalism Divided, p. 224).
This illustrates the weak New Evangelical mindset that does not allow for clear separation from compromise. To the contrary, when evangelicals of his day were compromising the truth by remaining in fellowship with modernists in the Baptist Union, Charles Spurgeon understood that he needed to separate not only from the modernists but from the fence-straddlers as well. He said, “That I might not stultify my testimony, I have cut myself clear of those who err from the faith, and even from those who associate with them.” This is not some sort of “second degree separation”; it is wisdom and obedience, for the Scripture warns that “evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33) and “a little leaven leaventh the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9).
In October 1997 a follow-up document was prepared called “Evangelicals and Catholics Together II: The Gift of Salvation.” It was published for the first time in Christianity Today, Dec. 8, 1997. It is called ECT II for short.
Signers included Chuck Colson, J.I. Packer, Max Lucado, Bob Seiple (World Vision), and Bill Bright.
Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School at the Southern Baptist-supported Samford University, wrote the introduction that accompanied the publication of the document in Christianity Today. He said: “The Gift of Salvation has been made possible by a major realignment in ecumenical discourse: the coalescence of believing Roman Catholics and faithful evangelicals who both affirm the substance of historic Christian orthodoxy against the ideology of theological pluralism that marks much mainline Protestant thought as well as avant-garde Catholic theology. Thus, for all our differences, Bible-believing evangelicals stand much closer to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger than to Bishop John Spong!" (George, “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: A New Initiative,” Christianity Today, Dec. 8, 1997, p. 34). In response, we say that a true Bible believer does not stand close either to a Catholic cardinal or to a modernist. Neither are friends of the gospel. To pretend that a Roman Catholic can be faithful to his “church” while at the same time affirming the biblical doctrine of justification, that salvation is by faith alone through grace alone by the atonement of Christ alone without works or sacraments, is unbelievable blindness.
Consider some excerpts from ECT II.
"...we affirm the binding authority of Holy Scripture, God’s inspired word; and we acknowledge the Apostles' and Nicene creeds as faithful witnesses to that Word."
"We agree that justification is not earned by any good works or merits of our won; it is entirely God's gift, conferred through the Father's sheer graciousness, out of the love that he bears us in his Son, who suffered on our behalf and rose from the dead for our justification. Jesus was 'put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification' (Romans 4:25). In justification, God, on the basis of Christ's righteousness alone, declares us to be no longer his rebellious enemies but his forgiven friends, and by virtue of his declaration it is so."
"The New Testament makes it clear that the gift of justification is received through faith."
"We understand that what we here affirm is in agreement with what the Reformation traditions have meant by justification by faith alone (sola fide)."
"Sanctification is not fully accomplished at the beginning of our life in Christ, but is progressively furthered as we struggle, with God's grace and help, against adversity and temptation. In this struggle we are assured that Christ's grace will be sufficient for us, enabling us to persevere to the end. When we fail, we can still turn to God in humble repentance and confidently ask for, and receive, his forgiveness. We may therefore have assured hope for the eternal life promised to us in Christ. As we have shared in his sufferings, we will share in his final glory. 'We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is' (1 John 3:2). While we dare not presume upon the grace of God, the promise of God in Christ is utterly reliable, and faith in that promise overcomes anxiety about our eternal future."
"In obedience to the Great Commission of our Lord, we commit ourselves to evangelizing everyone. We must share the fullness of God's saving truth with all, including members of our several communities. Evangelicals must speak the gospel to Catholics and Catholics to Evangelicals."
A refutation of ECT II --
(1) It is an INSUFFICIENT statement. Rome has always admitted that salvation is a gift of God's grace in Jesus Christ, that it comes only through the Lord Jesus Christ, that it comes through faith, that God's grace is sufficient for salvation. Rome agrees with all of that. It has brought God's curse upon itself, though (Galatians 1:7), by going beyond this and claiming that salvation is distributed through its sacraments and priesthood.
It is insufficient because it fails to state that the salvation of the soul has nothing whatsoever to do with sacraments. To have been meaningful, the statement would have said that justification is by God’s grace alone through the atonement of Christ alone through faith alone, WITHOUT WORKS OR BAPTISM OR OTHER SACRAMENTS OR CHURCH OR PRIESTHOOD.
It is insufficient because it fails to expose the manifold ways in which Rome has denied the gospel. To have been meaningful, the statement would have noted without hesitation that Rome has perverted and denied the Gospel of the grace of Christ not only through its definition of the gospel but also by its sacramental system; by its doctrine of baptismal regeneration; by exalting its priests, popes, saints, and Mary as alleged mediators between Christ and men; by its doctrine of purgatory, etc.
(2) It is a MEANINGLESS statement. The Roman Catholic signers cannot speak for Rome, and they admit that they do not do so. Roman Catholic doctrine is formally defined by its popes, doctors, and councils. It is not for individual Catholics to decide what they will believe and what they will not believe. The signing of such a statement by 15 Catholic theologians, even if it were a truly sound and sufficient statement of biblical justification, means absolutely nothing other than to cloud the issue of the gospel in the minds of gullible people.
(3) It is a DECEPTIVE statement. The concluding paragraph claims that the Catholic signers are "conscientiously faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church." That is a blatant lie, and I will not hedge my terms. Rome unequivocally denies that justification is by grace alone through faith alone without works or sacraments. Rome unequivocally condemns those who teach that justification is by grace alone through faith alone without works or sacraments. The Catholic signers are well aware of this. Therefore it is patently impossible for a faithful Catholic to understand justification “in agreement with what the Reformation traditions have meant by faith alone (sola fide).” If these Catholic theologians really believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone without works or sacraments, if they really believe that justification was defined properly by the Reformation, they should publicly repudiate Rome's false gospel. They should expose the Council of Trent and the Vatican II Council as false. They should separate themselves from an institution which is committed to a false gospel and which has cursed and tormented and murdered humble Bible-believing saints through the centuries.
Rome denies salvation by grace alone by the pronouncements of its official councils.
(1) It is denied by the Council of Trent. At the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the declarations of which are still in force, the Roman Catholic Church formally condemned the biblical doctrine of faith alone and grace alone. Consider the following declarations of Trent:
"If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 12).
"If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 24).
(2) It is denied by the Second Vatican Council. In its most formal and authoritative statements since Trent, Rome has continued to deny that salvation is by grace alone through Christ's atonement alone through faith alone without works or sacraments. Consider the following statements of the authoritative Vatican II Council of the mid-1960s, called by Pope John Paul XXIII and attended by more than 2,400 Catholic bishops--
"For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, ‘the work of our redemption is accomplished,’ and it is through the liturgy, especially, that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church" (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Introduction, para. 2).
"As often as the sacrifice of the cross by which 'Christ our Pasch is sacrificed' (1 Cor. 5:7) is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 1, 3, p. 324).
"... [Christ] also willed that the work of salvation which they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and sacraments, around which the entire liturgical [ritualistic] life revolves. Thus by Baptism men are grafted into the paschal mystery of Christ. ... They receive the spirit of adoption as sons" (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Chap. 1, I, 5,6, pp. 23-24).
"From the most ancient times in the Church good works were also offered to God for the salvation of sinners, particularly the works which human weakness finds hard. Because the sufferings of the martyrs for the faith and for God's law were thought to be very valuable, penitents used to turn to the martyrs to be helped by their merits to obtain a more speedy reconciliation from the bishops. Indeed, the prayers and good works of holy people were regarded as of such great value that it could be asserted that the penitent was washed, cleansed and redeemed with the help of the entire Christian people" (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, chap. 3, 6, pp. 78,79).
Rome denies salvation by grace alone in many other ways:
(1) Rome denies justification by grace alone by its doctrine of baptismal regeneration. The New Catholic Catechism (1994) dogmatically declares: "The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are 'reborn of water and the Spirit.' God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism..." (1257).
(2) Rome denies justification by grace alone by its doctrine of the mass, by claiming that in the mass "the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated" and "the work of our redemption is carried out" (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy).
(3) Rome denies justification by grace alone by its doctrine of the sacraments: "The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation. ... The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Saviour" (New Catholic Catechism, 1129).
(4) Rome denies justification by grace alone by its doctrine of purgatory, claiming that "the doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed" (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy).
(5) Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ by its doctrine of confession. "One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience" (New Catholic Catechism, 1493). "Individual and integral confession of grave sins followed by absolution remains the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with the Church" (New Catholic Catechism, 1497). "The sacrament of Penance restores and strengthens in members of the Church who have sinned the fundamental gift of ... conversion to the kingdom of Christ, which is first received in Baptism" (Vatican II, Decree on Confession for Religious).
(6) Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ by its doctrine of the papacy: "For 'God's only-begotten Son ... has won a treasure for the militant Church ... he has entrusted it to blessed Peter, the key-bearer of heaven, and to his successors who are Christ's vicars on earth, so that they may distribute it to the faithful for their salvation'" (ellipsis are in the original) (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, Chap. 4, 7, p. 80).
(7) Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ by its priesthood: "The purpose then for which priests are consecrated by God through the ministry of the bishop is that they should be made sharers in a special way in Christ's priesthood and, by carrying out sacred functions, act as his ministers who through his Spirit continually exercises his priestly function for our benefit in the liturgy. By Baptism priests introduce men into the People of God; by the sacrament of Penance they reconcile sinners with God and the Church; by the Anointing of the sick they relieve those who are ill; and especially by the celebration of Mass they offer Christ's sacrifice sacramentally" (Vatican II, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, chap. 2, I, 5, p. 781).
(8) Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ by its doctrine of Mary: "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the Saviour's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace" (New Catholic Catechism, 968). "... Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us gifts of eternal salvation. ... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix" (New Catholic Catechism, 969).
(9) Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ by its doctrine of the saints: "Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin" (New Catholic Catechism, 1475).
(10) Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ by its doctrine of forgiveness through the church: "There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. ... Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin" (New Catholic Catechism, 982).
(11) Rome denies justification by grace alone by its doctrine of indulgences: "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. ... Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead" (New Catholic Catechism, 1471).
In 1998 a revision of ECT literature was published in Ireland as a booklet and signed by 130 Catholics and Protestants. It was entitled Evangelicals and Catholics Together in Ireland: A Call to Christians in Ireland.
It stated: “...a billion Roman Catholics and more than 300 million evangelical Protestants represent world-wide the two most rapidly growing Christian communities. Yet in many countries, including our own, the scandal of conflict between them obscures the scandal of the cross (1 Cor. 1:23), thus crippling the one mission of the one Christ.”
The publication of ECT in Ireland was on the occasion of a visit by J.I. Packer. Joining Packer in speaking at the launch of the booklet was Catholic priest Pat Collins.
EVANGELICAL PUBLISHERS AND ROME
1971 – A Prejudiced Protestant Takes a New Look at the Catholic Church by James Hefley (Fleming H. Revell). The author is a graduate of the Southern Baptist Seminary in New Orleans and pastored a Baptist church for eight years. He describes how his prejudice against the Roman Catholic Church has dissolved in recent years because of the alleged changes in Catholicism since Vatican II.
1977 – Handbook to the History of Christianity (Eerdman’s) used two Roman Catholic historians as contributing editors. Rome’s persecution against Bible believers is slighted while Pope John XXIII is praised as having “a deep but traditional piety.”
1979 – Three Sisters by Michael Harper (Tyndale House Publishers). This book called for ecumenical unity between Evangelicals, Charismatics, and Roman Catholics (Evangeline, Charisma, Roma). The author stated, “It is my own conviction that a growing unity between the three forces in the Christian world is both desirable and possible”
1984 – Evangelical Is Not Enough by Thomas Howard (Thomas Nelson Publisher). Howard called for a movement toward liturgical, Catholic-style worship among Evangelicals. Howard, who was a professor at Gordon College for 15 years, is from a family of prominent Evangelicals. His father, Philip, was editor of the Sunday School Times; his brother David Howard was head of the World Evangelical Fellowship; and his sister Elizabeth married the famous missionary Jim Elliot, who was martyred by the Auca Indians in Ecuador. The year after the publication of Evangelical Is Not Enough, Thomas Howard converted to the Roman Catholic Church and left Gordon College to teach at Catholic seminaries in Boston. Other converts to Rome in recent years have testified that Howard’s book assisted them in taking their journey.
1985 – A Tale of Two Churches by George Carey (InterVarsity Press). Carey (who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury) called for the “eventual reunion of the two streams [Protestantism and Roman Catholicism] of Western Christendom.” The foreword to this book, subtitled Can Protestants & Catholics Get Together, was written by J.I. Packer.
1990 – Evangelical Catholics: A Call for Christian Cooperation to Penetrate the Darkness with the Light of the Gospel by Keith Fournier (Thomas Nelson). The foreword was written by Charles Colson. “But at root, those who are called of God, whether Catholic or Protestant, are part of the same Body. … It’s high time that all of us who are Christians come together regardless of the difference of our confessions and our traditions and make common cause to bring Christian values to bear in our society.”
1994 – Handbook of Christian Apologetics by two Roman Catholic authors, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli (InterVarsity Press). Kreeft is a Catholic apologist who believes that Mary will ultimately conquer Satan and who believes that even Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists will probably go to Heaven. Tacelli is a Jesuit priest and a professor at Boston College.
1994 – Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Divides and Unites Us (Moody Press). The editor is John Armstrong (Wheaton graduate, Reformed pastor), and twelve other Evangelical leaders are contributors. Though far more cautious than the other books we have mentioned, the Moody Press volume completely ignores the Bible’s command to mark and avoid doctrinal error. It ignores separation, which is the only sure hedge against the leaven of heresy. For example, Michael Horton concludes his chapter, “What Still Keeps Us Apart?” with these words: “I do not suggest that we should give up trying to seek visible unity, nor that we refuse to dialogue with Roman Catholic laypeople and theologians, many of whom may be our brothers and sisters” (p. 264).
1994 – A House United? Evangelicals and Catholics Together: A Winning Alliance for the 21st Century (Navigators’ NavPress). The authors are Roman Catholic Keith Fournier and Evangelical William Watkins, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. The foreword is written by Pat Robertson. In 1991, Robertson invited Fournier to become executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice at Regent University. In the foreword to Fournier’s book, Pat Robertson said that Catholics and Protestants “have a moral imperative to join together” to oppose cultural evils such as abortion, and he praised Fournier for his “deep dedication to helping to heal the divide” that “separated the Body of Christ.”
1995 – Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences by Norman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie (Baker Books). Though the authors acknowledge vast differences between Evangelicals and Catholics, they conclude that these should not be a cause for separation. This statement from the book’s foreword sets the tone for the whole: “Nevertheless, when all is said and done, evangelical Protestants and traditionalists, believing Roman Catholics have so many convictions and commitments in common that it would be foolish as well as wrong in the sight of the One whom we all claim as our Lord Jesus Christ to wrangle with each other in the face of the common enemy” (Foreword by Harold O.J. Brown, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences, p. 12).
1995 – Evangelicals & Catholics Toward a Common Mission Together, edited by Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus (Word Publishing). Contributors to the book include J.I. Packer (Regent College), Mark Noll (Wheaton College), and Avery Dulles (Jesuit priest and professor at Catholic University).
1997 – Reclaiming the Great Tradition: Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox in Dialogue (InterVarsity Press).
While most of these books acknowledge that there is doctrinal error in the Roman Catholic Church, they claim that Rome has changed for the better, that Roman Catholicism is not a cult, is not total apostasy. They speak of Rome’s heresies in gentle, “understanding,” scholarly tones rather than labeling them the blasphemies they really are. There is no call for separation.
3. EVANGELICALISM’S APOSTASY IS SEEN IN CHRISTIAN LIVING.
Testimony of Francis Schaeffer. Describing the moral apostasy of Evangelicalism in The Great Evangelical Disaster, Francis Schaeffer said: “How the mindset of accommodation grows and expands. The last sixty years have given birth to a moral disaster, and what have we done? Sadly we must say that the evangelical world has been part of the disaster. ... WITH TEARS WE MUST SAY THAT ... A LARGE SEGMENT OF THE EVANGELICAL WORLD HAS BECOME SEDUCED BY THE WORLD SPIRIT OF THIS PRESENT AGE” (Schaeffer, 1983, p. 141).
Testimony of David F. Wells, professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary: “Evangelicalism has … lowered the barricades. It is open to the world” (Wells, No Place for the Truth or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? 1994, p. 128).
Evangelical music groups look and sound exactly like the world.
Many Evangelical Bible College campuses have the look and feel of secular colleges: the same lack of modesty, drinking, rock music, dancing, etc.
Testimony of Richard Quebedeaux: “The Gallup Poll is correct in asserting that born-again Christians ‘believe in a strict moral code.’ BUT THAT STRICTNESS HAS BEEN CONSIDERABLY MODIFIED DURING THE LAST FEW YEARS … DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE are becoming more frequent and acceptable among evangelicals of all ages, even in some of their more conservative churches. … Some evangelical women are taking advantage of ABORTION on demand. Many younger evangelicals occasionally use PROFANITY in their speech and writing . . . Some of the recent evangelical sex-technique books assume that their readers peruse and view PORNOGRAPHY on occasion, and they do. Finally, in 1976 there emerged a fellowship and information organization for practicing evangelical LESBIANS AND GAY MEN and their sympathizers. There is probably just as high a percentage of gays in the evangelical movement as in the wider society. Some of them are now coming out of the closet, distributing well-articulated literature, and demanding to be recognized and affirmed by the evangelical community at large” (Quebedeaux, The Worldly Evangelicals, 1978, pp. 16,17).
4. EVANGELICALISM’S APOSTASY IS SEEN IN ITS ACCEPTANCE OF HERETICS
We will give three examples of this:
Lewis’s Acceptance by Evangelicals
1. According to a Christianity Today reader’s poll in 1998, Lewis was rated the most influential writer.
2. Though Lewis died in 1963, sales of his books have risen to two million a year.
3. In an article commemorating the 100th anniversary of Lewis’s birth, J.I. Packer called him “our patron saint.”
4. Christianity Today said Lewis “has come to be the Aquinas, the Augustine, and the Aesop of contemporary Evangelicalism” (“Still Surprised by Lewis,” Christianity Today, Sept. 7, 1998).
5. Wheaton College sponsored a lecture series on C.S. Lewis, and Eerdmans published “The Pilgrim’s Guide” to C.S. Lewis.
1. Christianity Today noted that he was “a man whose theology had decidedly unevangelical elements” (CT, Sept. 7, 1998).
2. He believed in purgatory, confessed his sins to a priest, and had the last rites performed by a Catholic priest (C.S. Lewis: A Biography, pp. 198, 301). He received the Catholic sacrament of last rites on July 16, 1963.
3. Lewis rejected the doctrine of bodily resurrection (Biblical Discernment Ministries Letter, Sept.-Oct. 1996).
4. He believed there is salvation in pagan religions.
5. Lewis denied the total depravity of man and the substitutionary atonement of Christ.
6. He believed in theistic evolution and rejected the Bible as the infallible Word of God.
7. He denied the biblical doctrine of an eternal fiery hell, claiming, instead, that hell is a state of mind: “And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind—is, in the end, Hell” (Lewis, The Great Divorce, p. 65).
1. Metzger is considered the preeminent textual authority alive and is continually quoted by evangelicals.
2. The February 8, 1999, issue of Christianity Today contains an editorial by Michael Maudlin, Managing Editor, entitled “Inside CT.” Maudlin’s editorial boasts that “never before in the twentieth century has the church amassed so many highly skilled, believing scholars to illumine our Scriptures, our theology, our traditions, our church work.” Who are these “believing scholars”? He mentions five of them: Craig Blomberg, Bruce Metzger, Edwin Yamauchi, Ben Witherington III, and D.A. Carson.
Metzger’s heresy is evident in the notes to the NEW OXFORD ANNOTATED BIBLE RSV (1973). Metzger co-edited this volume with Herbert May. Metzger wrote many of the rationalistic notes in this volume and put his editorial stamp of approval on the rest. Following are some examples of the heresies:
a. The Pentateuch is “a matrix of myth, legend, and history” that “took shape over a long period of time” and is “not to be read as history.”
b. Moses didn’t write most of the Pentateuch.
c. The worldwide flood of Noah’s day is a mere “tradition” based on “heightened versions of local inundations.”
d. The book of Job is an “ancient folktale.”
e. The book of Isaiah was written by at least three men.
f. The stories of Elijah and Elisha contain “legendary elements.”
g. Jonah is a “popular legend.”
h. The Gospels gradually took shape after the deaths of the Apostles.
i. Peter probably did not write the book of 2 Peter.
These statements are unbelieving lies. The Pentateuch was written by the hand of God and Moses and completed during the 40 years of wilderness wandering hundreds of years before Samuel and the kings. The Old Testament did not arise gradually from a matrix of myth and history, but is inspired revelation delivered to holy men of old by Almighty God. The Jews were a “people of the book” from the beginning. The Jewish nation did not form the Bible; the Bible formed the Jewish nation! Jesus Christ affirmed the historicity of Jonah. The historicity of Job is affirmed by Ezekiel (14:14,20) and James (5:11).
1. Schuller’s television program was the most popular religious broadcast in America for many years and might still be. His books sell by the millions. His self-esteem Christianity has been adopted by multitudes.
2. Billy Graham has frequently appeared with and praised Schuller. In 1983, Schuller sat in the front row of distinguished guests invited to honor Graham’s 65th birthday. In 1986, Schuller was invited by Graham to speak at the International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam. Schuller was featured on the platform of Graham’s Atlanta Crusade in 1994.
3. Southern Baptist leader W.A. Criswell endorsed Schuller’s ministry in 1981 in an ad in Christianity Today’s Leadership magazine. He said, “I know Dr. Schuller personally. He’s my good friend. I’ve spoken on his platform. I’m well acquainted with his ministry. If you want to develop fruitful evangelism in your church; if you want your laity to experience positive motivation and ministry fulfilling training, then I know, without a doubt, that you will greatly benefit from the Robert Schuller Film Workshop.”
4. On April 29, 1980, Robert Schuller appeared at the Washington for Jesus Rally with popular evangelical and charismatic leaders Bill Bright, D. James Kennedy, James Robison, Jim Bakker, Rex Humbard, Pat Robertson, Pat Boone, Nicky Cruz, David du Plessis, Demos Shakarian, Thomas Zimmerman (Assemblies of God), and Jerry Falwell.
5. Popular author and teacher R.C. Sproul, president of Ligonier Ministries, has spoken at Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral on numerous occasions. He spoke at Schuller’s church in September 21, 1984. Again, Sproul spoke at Schuller’s church in October 26, 1986.
6. In October 1986, Schuller was on the council to host the Fourth Triennial Convention of the Asia Missions Association. Other men involved in this were evangelical leaders Donald McGavran, Ralph Winter, David Howard, Dale Kietzman of the World Literature Crusade, Edward Dayton of World Vision, Peter Deyneka of the Slavic Gospel Mission, Jack Frizen of the IFMA, and Wade Coggins of the EFMA.
7. A wide range of evangelical leaders joined hands with Robert Schuller and other heretics at Congress ‘88, August 4-7, 1988, in Chicago. Catholic priest Alvin Illig was one of the leaders, and the Catholic Archbishop of Chicago, Joseph Bernardin, brought the opening address. At the piano for the opening night services was Larry Shakley, minister of music at Willow Creek Community Church and band director for Moody Bible Institute’s Friday Night Sing. Speakers included Charles Colson, Bill Bright, Jack Wyrtzen, Jay Kessler, and Southern Baptist Robert Hamblin. Representatives from the Navigators, Jews for Jesus, Pioneer Clubs, Moody Monthly magazine, and General Baptists delivered workshops.
8. In August 1991, World Vision co-sponsored an Interfaith Rally in St. Louis, Missouri, which was addressed by Robert Schuller.
9. Tony Campolo has frequently recommended Robert Schuller and has spoken with him on various platforms. In his book Partly Right, Campolo said: “Schuller affirms our divinity, yet does not deny our humanity ... isn’t that what the gospel is? Isn’t God’s message to sinful humanity that He sees in each of us a divine nature of such worth that He sacrificed His own Son.”
10. Christianity Today has frequently carried advertisements promoting Robert Schuller. Each year CT publishes ads for Schuller’s Institute for Successful Church Leadership. In 1984, the editors of Christianity Today examined Schuller and concluded that he is “not a heretic.”
“He believes all the ‘fundamental’ doctrines of traditional fundamentalism. He adheres to every line of the Apostles’ Creed with a tenacity born of deep conviction. ... he avowed belief in a literal hell. He was not sure about its location, and the fire is to be understood figuratively...” (Christianity Today, Aug. 10, 1984).
11. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship president Stephen Hayner joined Schuller in January 1994, to participate in the Schuller Institute for Successful Church Leadership.
12. In December 1994, Schuller joined hands with a wide range of popular evangelical leaders at Bill Bright’s (Campus Crusade for Christ) Fast for Revival conference. Among those attending were Charles Colson, E.V. Hill, Jack Hayford, James Dobson, W.A. Criswell, Charles Stanley, Paul Crouch, Luis Palau, Bill Gothard, Pat Robertson, Jay Arthur, and Larry Burkett.
13. In February 1996, Robert Schuller was featured at Jerusalem Celebration 2000. Joining him for this meeting was Paul Yonggi Cho, Jack Hayford, C. Peter Wagner, among others.
14. In September 1996, Beverly LaHaye and Ralph Reed joined Robert Schuller for a Christian Coalition conference in Washington D.C., sponsored by cult-leader “Rev.” Sun Myung Moon.
15. Many of the Promise Keepers speakers and leaders are connected with Schuller. For example, John Maxwell, Jack Hayford, and Randy Phillips were among the keynote speakers at the Men’s Conference ‘95 (March 2-4, 1995) held at Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral. Schuller also spoke at the conference.
16. Bill Hybels of the Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago credits Schuller as an inspiration for his work, has promoted Schuller in various ads in Christianity Today, and is a frequent speaker at meetings organized by Schuller. For example, in 1996 Hybels was on the staff of Schuller’s annual Institute for Successful Church Leadership. Hybels is one of the chief promoters of churches that cater to the desires of the people. He started his church by taking a survey of the community and building a “church” which would satisfy what the people wanted. A Chicago sociologist said Hybels preaches a very upbeat message—”salvationist message, but the idea is not so much being saved from the fires of hell. Rather, it’s being saved from meaninglessness and aimlessness in this life. It’s more of a soft-sell.” Hybels’ church does not have conventional worship. It has no altar, no choir, organ, hymnals, or songbooks. Its music ranges from rock to jazz to country to classical. It is no wonder that Hybels would love Robert Schuller and his self-esteem message. The stranger fact is that Hybels is frequently recommended by and speaks with those who claim to be Bible based. He spoke at Dallas Seminary’s 1989 Pastors Conference, for example. Hybels has also spoken at Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week and has taught his philosophy of church growth as a faculty member of MBI’s graduate school.
17. Schuller’s 1996 autobiography, My Soul’s Adventure with God, was endorsed by Paul Crouch, Jack Hayford, John Wimber, and popular Southern Baptist leader W.A. Criswell.
18. Schuller’s book Self-Esteem: The New Reformation was endorsed by men such as Clark Pinnock of McMaster Divinity College, David Hubbard, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, and Kenneth Chafin of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Consider some excerpts from Schuller’s writings:
“BUT DO NOT SAY THAT THE CENTRAL CORE OF THE HUMAN SOUL IS WICKEDNESS. ... POSITIVE CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT HOLD TO HUMAN DEPRAVITY, BUT TO HUMAN INABILITY” (Schuller, Self-Esteem: the New Reformation, Word Books, 1982, p. 67).
“TO BE BORN AGAIN MEANS THAT WE MUST BE CHANGED FROM A NEGATIVE TO A POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE—from inferiority to self-esteem, from fear to love, from doubt to trust” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, p. 68).
“Essentially, if Christianity is to succeed in the next millennium, IT MUST CEASE TO BE A NEGATIVE RELIGION AND MUST BECOME POSITIVE” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, p. 104).
“‘SIN IS ANY ACT OR THOUGHT THAT ROBS MYSELF OR ANOTHER HUMAN BEING OF HIS OR HER SELF-ESTEEM’” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, p. 14).
“A PERSON IS IN HELL WHEN HE HAS LOST HIS SELF-ESTEEM. Can you imagine any condition more tragic than to live life and eternity in shame?” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, pp. 14-15,93).
“The Cross sanctifies the ego trip. For THE CROSS PROTECTED OUR LORD’S PERFECT SELF-ESTEEM FROM TURNING INTO SINFUL PRIDE” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, p. 75).
“CHRIST is the Ideal One, for he WAS SELF-ESTEEM INCARNATE” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, p. 135).
“JESUS NEVER CALLED A PERSON A SINNER. ... Rather he reserved his righteous rebuke for those who used their religious authority to generate guilt and caused people to lose their ability to taste and enjoy their right to dignity...” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, pp. 100,126).
“I FOUND MYSELF IMMEDIATELY ATTRACTED TO POPE JOHN PAUL II when, upon his election to the Papacy, his published speeches invariably called attention to the need for recognizing the dignity of the human being as a child of God” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, p. 17).
“In a theology that starts with an uncompromising respect for each person’s pride and dignity, I HAVE NO RIGHT TO EVER PREACH A SERMON OR WRITE AN ARTICLE THAT WOULD OFFEND THE SELF-RESPECT AND VIOLATE THE SELF-DIGNITY OF A LISTENER OR READER” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, p. 153).
“I don’t think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition” (Schuller, Christianity Today, October 5, 1984).
1. New Evangelicalism is a fulfillment of 2 Timothy 4:3-4. The New Evangelical generation has “itching ears” for a new type of Christianity than the old somber, strict, separatist one. And the New Evangelical preacher is ready and willing to scratch itching ears with a new doctrine and a new way.
2. New Evangelicalism is not a denomination or a group. IT IS A MOOD OF COMPRO-MISE. It is a rejection of many of the negative aspects of New Testament Christianity. IT IS AN ATTITUDE OF POSITIVISM.
3. Beware of the danger of gradualism or incrementalism. Compromise is a slippery slope. It is a downward path. “A little leaven leaventh the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9). Once we start to compromise the truth, we begin a slide that has no end.
Let us take heed to the wise warning given by Dr. Charles Woodbridge, former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and a founding member of the National Association of Evangelicals: “The New Evangelicalism is a theological and moral compromise of the deadliest sort. It is an insidious attack upon the Word of God. ... The New Evangelicalism advocates TOLERATION of error. It is following the downward path of ACCOMMODATION to error, COOPERATION with error, CONTAMINATION by error, and ultimate CAPITULATION to error!” (Woodbridge, The New Evangelicalism, 1969, p. 15).
God says, “Walk ye in the old paths,” but the New Evangelical reassesses the old paths. God says, “Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set,” but the New Evangelical has removed them one by one. God says, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,” but the New Evangelical reasons that such fellowship is necessary. God says, “A little leaven leaventh the whole lump,” but the New Evangelical thinks he can reform the already leavened lump. God says, “Evil communications corrupt good manners,” but the New Evangelical thinks good manners can uplift evil communications. God says, “I resist the proud but give grace to the humble,” but the New Evangelical thinks the way to reach the world is by meeting them on their own proud territory, matching them scholarly degree with degree. God says, “the prudent man looketh well to his going” (Proverbs 14:15), but the New Evangelical believes instead of asking critical questions we should accept our fellow Christians as brethren regardless of the definition of their gospel or the details of their doctrine.
4. The road from New Evangelicalism to apostasy is rapid. Let us not forget the testimony of Harold Lindsell, one of the founding fathers of New Evangelicalism: “I must regretfully conclude that the term evangelical has been so debased that it has lost its usefulness. ... Forty years ago the term evangelical represented those who were theologically orthodox and who held to biblical inerrancy as one of the distinctives. ... WITHIN A DECADE OR SO NEOEVANGELICALISM . . . WAS BEING ASSAULTED FROM WITHIN BY INCREASING SKEPTICISM WITH REGARD TO BIBLICAL INFALLIBILITY OR INERRANCY” (Lindsell, The Bible in the Balance, 1979, p. 319).
5. This philosophy is now permeating today’s fundamentalists and it will produce the same apostasy.
Fundamentalists are renouncing separation: A recent leader of the GARBC said separation is not a wall but a picket fence.
Fundamentalists are adopting a new mood of POSITIVISM and NEUTRALISM. The preaching is becoming less forthright with each passing decade. Plain preaching AGAINST things seems increasingly strange and wrong.
Dear Christian friends, beware of New Evangelicalism!
- Part I: New Evangelicalism - Its History
- Part II: New Evangelicalism - Its Chracteristics
- Part III: New Evangelicalism - Its Fruits