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5205
“New Neutralism Ch 7 - 9”
by John Ashbrook   
January 17th, 2009

CHAPTER  7

THE NEW NEUTRALISM - Mr. revolutionary and Campus Crusade

When Fuller Seminary opened its doors in 1947, one of the new students was a young businessman named Bill Bright. He had been steered to the seminary by Henrietta Mears, Christian Education Director of the Hollywood Presbyterian Church. He did not stay to graduate. Rather, he left school to found the ministry which he called Campus Crusade for Christ.

Up with Revolution
Revolution was a popular word on campuses of the 1950's and 1960's. Bright latched onto the word with a vengeance and tried to fill it with Christian meaning. Bright's book, Revolution Now, was advertised by Campus Crusade with the following blurb:

Revolution Now will introduce you to the greatest revolutionary who ever lived, Jesus Christ, and will challenge you to become a part of a revolutionary strategy to help change the world.

It is obvious that Jesus Christ never claimed that title for himself, but Bright liked it. When he wrote in Collegiate Challenge, Volume 6, Number 1, Bright titled his article, "History's Greatest Revolutionary"

Are you interested in revolution? Do you want to help solve the social ills of the world? We invite you to join with us in following the Greatest Revolutionary of the centuries. He is alive.

In a Campus Crusade paper called Crusade in Action, Bright is quoted as saying at a Berkley rally that "Jesus Christ is history's greatest revolutionist... If we follow him, we will become revolutionists too."

The campuses Bright was addressing were aflame with students seeking revolution a la Lenin, Chairman Mao, Che Guevara and Herbert Marceuse. To speak in that context and call Jesus Christ "history's greatest revolutionist" seems out of place. None of the disciples, when seeking souls, tried to recruit revolutionaries. Jesus Christ invited idealistic young men to take up the cross and follow him. Revolution was never mentioned. They were not enlisted to join a crusade to help change the world. The modern day appeal smacks of the social agenda of the National Council of Churches. After all, that was one of Dr. Ockenga's three main points.

The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner for March 25, 1969, in an article titled, "Students Dig Christ but Hate the Church" quoted a Campus Crusade worker as giving the outworking of Bright's policy:

We're not hoot and holler types and we don't push the kids to go to church. That's the last thing we do... We tell them Christ was the greatest revolutionary that ever lived and He was the world's greatest non-conformist. This really perks up the kids' interest. They can identify with this kind of a Christ.

It is true that modern youth can identify with a rebel. But, suffice it to say that this is not the way the apostles presented the Savior. To them He was the sinless Son of God who gave Himself for our sins. Rebellious man must repent and believe the gospel. Furthermore, the apostles always sought to make certain that every convert was left in a church with elders in charge.

Forward with Bigness
The second hallmark of Campus Crusade is bigness. Bill Bright has never thought small. He has been a setter of goals and producer of "Explos." In a question and answer interview in Christian Life for February, 1987, Bright chronicled some of his goals and explos:

There has also been a series of significant events and programs which we call `strategies.' There was EXPLO '72 which filled the Cotton Bowl with 85,000 people for a week of training in evangelism and discipleship skills...

EXPLO '85 was also a major building block for us. It was the largest closed circuit television conference ever held. More than 250,000 delegates from 164 countries received training at 98 different locations...

We are planning EXPLO '90 as a closed-circuit television satellite conference to launch these big plans. Eighteen satellites will be used to reach 5,000 locations. We expect five million participants, live, and millions more by cable and satellite.

Religious Broadcasting for November, 1980 reported on the "Here's Life, Korea" Crusade, terming it the "largest meetings in the history of Christendom." It reported an aggregate attendance of 16,750,000 people. That is big indeed. The report continued as follows:

Each night, in response to an invitation by Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, almost half of the audience arose from their places to indicate that they were making their first commitment to accept Jesus Christ as Lord.

On the closing night, when the audience was estimated at 2.7 million people, approximately 1.8 million stood up to pledge themselves for missionary service.

Bright himself was led to observe that "There is nothing in the history of the church that would even begin to compare with what we have seen this week."

I think that my readers must agree that that is Bigness with a capital "B." In a day when apostasy has seized much of the professing church, in a day when faithful pastors labor for every single soul, in the light of the fact that we cannot evaluate the reality of decisions until we see evidence of Holy Spirit change, does it not seem rather unwise to boast of our bigness until God proclaims His satisfaction with it?

The Bible is a record of small things. God's work has always been a story of despised minorities against overwhelming majorities. In these last days it promises to be more so. Man has exalted his methodologies - the four spiritual laws, Explos, teleconferences and forceful appeals. Yet God is still the God of theology. Unless the Spirit of God has regenerated human hearts, all of the methodology comes to deceiving emptiness. Pentecost, the Reformation, the Great Awakenings - none of these came about by human methodology. All were the result of direct divine intervention. The masters of bigness with their methodology would do well to allow God Himself to choose the greatest events of church history

One of the newest methodologies of Campus Crusade revolves around the film called, "Jesus." Crusaders usually refer to it as "the Jesus film." It is reported that Nelson Bunker Hunt, who raised one billion dollars for "Here's Life," gave six million dollars to produce the Jesus film. In the February 1987 interview with Christian Life, Dr. Bright stated the following:

We believe, too, that the Lord has provided ways for us to achieve our goals. For example, by 1995 eve expect to have 5,000 teams presenting the "JESUS" film at least five nights a week to five to ten million people every night.

We are also establishing 5,000 training centers in both urban and rural areas throughout the world. We estimate that these bases can train 200 million disciples by 2000 A.D. These leaders will help plant between 10 and 20 million home Bible fellowships to sustain those who come to Christ through our outreaches.

In Luke 18:8 Christ asked a hauntingly rhetorical question of his disciples: "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Is it right for men to placard their enthusiastic projections in the light of Christ's dire prediction for the end of our age? Would you prefer Bright's prediction or Christ's? To serve our present age aright, we must have God's revealed view of our times.

Accommodation
The third hallmark of Campus Crusade is that classic aspect of neutralism, accommodation.  The world, the flesh and the devil always have an agenda of things which appeal to the natural man, pervert the truth or divert the attention of believers from the things which are Scripturally important. A faithful pastor must identify that agenda and oppose it from Scripture. However, new evangelicalism has never been given to opposing. That is too negative for its positive image. Its policy has been accommodation. Its motto seems to be, "Don't fight it if you can join it."

Baptizing Rock Music
The Crusade has always made an accommodation with rock music. Nothing is as opposed to the gospel as the ethos of rock music. However, rock is the beat of the campus today; from the first, the Crusade has marched to a rock beat. My father, in Evangelicalism: The New Neutralism, pointed out the use of Paul Stookey, Peter Yarrow, Pat Boone, Andre Crouch and a host of rock performers at Explo '72. About 1984, Paragon Experience, a ministry of Campus Crusade, produced a multimedia production, "The Dreamweaver." A review of the production in Good News Broadcaster related the following:

Unlike traditional movie entertainment, `The Dreamweaver' contains only two minutes of talking. Instead, the storyline is communicated through the use of visuals precisely synchronized to the lyrics of contemporary music from the Beatles, John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel, Kansas, Styx and others, blending this stereophonic music with drama.

How can the world's music communicate God's message? Answer: It can't.

Tuning in to Tongues
Another Campus Crusade accommodation is to the charismatic movement. We have seen that this is a common adjustment within new evangelicalism. Evangelical Newsletter for May 27, 1983 contained the following item:

Campus Crusade for Christ, the conservative evangelical organization whose influence extends far beyond its original campus goals, recently lifted its ban on speaking in tongues by members of its worldwide staff The ban had been imposed in the mid-1960s when the charismatic movement entered mainstream denominations. Some observers think that Bill Bright, Crusade's founder-president, has been influenced by his oldest son, who attended Life College, a Pentecostal school in Los Angeles.

This move was to be expected. The large numbers claimed by the Crusade in its explos and endeavors cannot be obtained in this day and age without charismatic participation. You cannot have this participation if you have staff rules against tongues speaking. Campus Crusade coordinated a large crusade in Kenya, Africa for German Pentecostal evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. In the "Here's Life, Korea" Crusade mentioned previously Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the 150,000 member Full Gospel Central Church of Seoul, took a leadership role. Compromise with charismaticism is a necessary bedfellow of bigness in the ecumenicial world of today.

Cozying up to Catholicism
The Crusade has followed the lead of Billy Graham in changing its policy on Roman Catholicism. An outspoken and revealing article on this phase of accommodation appeared in Pastoral Renewal for April, 1986. The article was authored by Campus Crusade staff member John Nyquist, who had directed the Crusade's work in central Europe. Nyquist uses Crusade experience in Florence, Italy as an example to explain that there had been a problem because students evangelized by the Crusade began to distance themselves from the Catholic Church and did not feel comfortable joining Protestant churches. The article rejoices in the following solution:

As the Crusade team struggled with this problem, God provided a ray of sunshine. Through contacts gained in a Bible Study the Crusade team scheduled a businessmen's banquet for the purpose of communicating the gospel in a helpful way. A parish priest who attended was very favorably impressed by the presentation. He saw that it was not designed to proselytize his people into Protestant churches but was rather a simple and direct appeal to them to open their hearts to Christ.

The priest invited a Crusade staff woman to begin a women's Bible study in the parish, and as this work blossomed, he asked one of the men on the Crusade team to work with the youth of the parish. The parish's small struggling band of high school and university students responded with enthusiasm to the team member's challenge to take the Bible seriously by meeting to study it on a weekly basis. Thus the solution developed to the campus evangelism dilemma: a group of students and Crusade staff workers involved in Bible study and evangelism under the auspices of a local Catholic parish priest.

After giving the details of this working arrangement, Nyquist lists a number of lessons learned from the experience. Among them are the following:

Protestants and Catholics can work together where the leadership is committed to the authority of the Bible and its relevance to the daily lives of both clergy and laity.

When the local pastor, priest, or bishop is convinced that there is no hidden agenda and that the ministry has integrity work can proceed and God will receive honor and glory.

All participants in this ecumenical ministry must be willing to risk criticism from well-meaning relatives, friends, and colleagues, which is certain to follow.

If these principles are put into practice, the trend toward cooperative evangelism between Protestants and Roman Catholics, and between parachurch organizations and official church bodies, will continue to yield results in Europe.

The Australian Beacon for May 1980 quotes Dr. Bright as saying that "We do not attack the Roman Catholic Church. We believe that God is doing a mighty work in it and will no doubt use millions of Roman Catholics to evangelize the world."

In the same article quoted above from Pastoral Renewal, some comments are made about the success of Campus Crusade's "Here's Life" ministry in Switzerland:

One of the reasons for this success is that the local churches - Reformed, Roman Catholic and Free Church -have participated from the start. This has helped draw in people, because most of them have some kind of relationship, even if only a tenuous one, with one of these local church communities.

The established churches, namely, the Reformed and the Roman Catholic, have taken the leadership in this movement, and they are the ones that are reaping the harvest in terms of inner renewal and excitement.

These quotations show the accommodation to both Roman Catholicism and ecumenism in the Crusade's ministry The natural course of new evangelicalism always leads onward to ecumenism.

Dr. Bright's latest explo is called New Life 2000. The "Jesus film" is a key ingredient of this project. Billy Graham is the honorary chairman of the effort. Ted Engstrom of World Vision is chairman of the International Committee of Reference. Dr. James Dobson, the psychologist, and Dr. Charles Stanley of the Southern Baptist Convention serve on an advisory board. So goes the networking of neutralism.

Rescheduling the Rapture
Dr. Bright shows another accommodation, which may be more troubling to many since it is an accommodation in doctrine. In an official letter launching The Agape Movement, a ministry of Campus Crusade, Bright wrote:

l believe that we are now experiencing the greatest spiritual awakening since Pentecost. The opportunity today for saturating the world with the joyful news of God's love and forgiveness is greater than ever before.

This sounds wonderful, but how does it square with the Biblical picture of a worsening world ripening for judgment as we approach the end of the age? Bright gave an answer in an interview with Christianity Today, September 24, 1976,

Question: Scriptures seem to teach that at the end of the age the world situation will get worse, and love among Christians will grow cold. So it appears that if this great awakening you anticipate does happen, then the coming of the Lord may not be imminent.

Answer: l do not personally believe that the Lord's return is imminent. I think that the current teaching that it is imminent is leading many, many Christians to fold their hands and disobey what Jesus said to do. Jesus said we should work for the night is coming when no man can work. According to Scripture, He has delayed His return in order that more people may have a chance to hear.

Dr. Bright apparently decided ex cathedra that the imminent return of Christ did not fit with his agenda.

The Blu-Print for February 12, 1980 quoted from the June-July 1978 Wittenburg Door as follows:

Also in terms of Bill and Vonette's vision, there is a very strong radical element in it. Basically, Bill is opposed to millennialists, it's the truth. I've never asked him and I’m sure that he would never say that he is, but he is. What do l mean by that? Unlike people who think that you have to win the world in this generation before the Rapture (You know Hal Lindsay had to leave Campus Crusade because Bill didn't want dispensational theology taught in the organization - it's too negative). He feels that once the world is saved there will be an important second step (which links him up with Charles Finney, much more than Billy Graham) in the sanctification sense. Believers will automatically reconstruct society. They are going to end war, racism and everything else.

Earlier in this book I commented on the social agenda of new evangelicalism. It appears to me that Bright has allowed his social agenda to revise his eschatology Lest you think that this is a revolutionary step in new evangelicalism, it is not. New evangelicalism began out of premillennialism but has had a major shift to a-millennialism or post millennialism.

Much more could be said about Mr. Revolutionary and Campus Crusade. It is impossible to over estimate the influence of Dr. Bright in current new evangelicalism. He is one of the shakers and movers. He personifies neutralism in action. Revolution, bigness and accommodation - there you have Campus Crusade, the most influential campus organization in the stable of new evangelicalism.

 

CHAPTER  8

THE NEW NEUTRALISM - Intellectuals in Residence

Universities and colleges have "scholars in residence" for a term or two. The scholar in residence is a person who has distinguished himself in academia and who is frequently in the vanguard of thought in some particular area. New evangelicalism, as a school of thought, has its intellectuals in residence. My father, in Evangelicalism: The New Neutralism, designated Dr. Francis Schaeffer as then occupying the Chair of Intellectual in Residence in the movement. Schaeffer has now passed from the scene, but there are certain men and women of scholarly bent whose names seem to be in the vanguard of new evangelical thought.

In this chapter I do not claim to have collected all the names. In fact, I may have missed some of the most important ones. However, those whom I have chosen for comment are those whose names seem to come to the forefront repeatedly in my reading. I am certain that they are typical of the intellectuals in residence in new evangelicalism.

DR. VERNON GROUNDS
One such intellectual in residence is Dr. Vernon Grounds. Grounds began his college education at Rutgers as an unsaved student. He was born again during his student days and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He then enrolled in fundamentalist Faith Theological Seminary in Wilmington, Delaware. After his graduation there, he enrolled at Drew University, one of the most liberal Methodist schools in the country There he was exposed to blatant unbelief and the social action challenge.

He served as dean and professor of theology at Baptist Bible Seminary in Johnson City, New York. This was a good school of the General Association of Regular Baptists in a day when the GARBC was still solidly in the fundamentalist camp. In 1951 he became dean, and later president, of the Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in Denver. He served as the school's president until his retirement in 1979. The Conservative Baptist Association is made up of non-separatist Northern Baptists who did not wish to leave the denomination. The Association recently joined the National Association of Evangelicals. If you look over the roster of participants in the notable social action conferences of new evangelicalism you will find Dr. Grounds listed as a frequent participant. He has served as President of Evangelicals for Social Action, one of new evangelicalism's left-wing social activist organizations.

Waging Peace at Harvard
As we saw in a previous chapter, one of the marks of new evangelicalism is a determination to dialogue with the apostasy Another way of putting this is to say that the new evangelical lacks any sensitivity to the need for a Biblical separation from unbelief. Dr. Grounds is a good illustration of this lack. The Harvard Divinity Bulletin for June-July 1981 documents Dr. Grounds' participation in the Waging Peace Conference at Harvard Divinity School, May 1-2, 1981. Even many seasoned new evangelicals would have been troubled by some of Grounds' fellow participants. One was the atheistic Dr. Harvey Cox, author of The Secular City. Another was the radical Dr. William Sloane Coffin, senior minister of the notorious Riverside Church in New York City. Another was Ernesto Cardenal, the minister of culture for the communist Sandinista government of Nicaragua at the time. The Harvard Divinity Bulletin makes the following comment on Grounds' participation:

Vernon Grounds, President Emeritus of Denver Theological Seminary, praised Evangelical leaders Senator Mark Hatfield and evangelist Billy Graham for their opposition to the arms race and their advocacy of a nuclear moratorium, but expressed his 'concern about evangelicalism's unconcern' with the nuclear arms race. It is the church's mission, Grounds said, to bring about the Biblical vision of shalom, peace with justice, as an integral part of the preaching of the Gospel.

That sounds very pious, but can you give me the reference where Christ ever said that it is the church's mission to bring world peace? It seems to me that Jehu's rebuke to Jehoshaphat after he had companied with Ahab would be appropriate. The prophet said, "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord:" (2 Chronicles 19:2)

Christianity Today for June 2, 1978 reported on a consultation titled, "The Future of the Missionary Enterprise," held at the Independent Overseas Ministries Study Center in Ventnor, New Jersey The consultation was a thoroughly socialistic confab. In reporting the meeting the magazine commented that the participants "at times seemed intent on dismantling and replacing political systems that create and perpetuate suffering, injustice and social evils." The keynote address was given by Emilio Castro, an Uruguayan Methodist, then serving as director of the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism. In 1984 Castro became General Secretary of the World Council of Churches. Other speakers were Mortimer Arias, former Methodist Bishop of Bolivia and Father Thomas Stransky former president of the Catholic Paulist Fathers. It is obvious to the most casual reader that this was a conference of notable ecumenicists, including Roman Catholics. The guest Bible teacher for this hodge-podge of unbelief was none other than Dr. Vernon Grounds. His lectures were titled, "Towards a Socialized Spirituality". He defended his participation by saying that the meeting offered an opportunity for evangelicals to learn firsthand the dynamics and directions of the ecumenical movement."

Do the Scriptures teach that believers are to be some kind of a spiritual C.I.A. to infiltrate the ecumenical movement? Rather, God has said, "Come out from among them and be ye separate..."

RONALD J. SIDER
At Campus Crusade's Explo '72 there was a brief, backstage anti-war demonstration, led by seminarian Jim Wallis of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield. Illinois. Wallis and a few others pushed for an evangelical forum on social concerns. A committee soon took shape. The coordinator for the event was Dr. Ronald J. Sider of Messiah College. Christianity Today for December 21. 1973. in writing about the event. identified Messiah College as "a pacifist-oriented Brethren in Christ school in southeastern Pennsylvania:" The committee which materialized met at the Thanksgiving holiday in 1972 at Chicago's Wabash YMCA. The participants in the forum produced. and most signed, a document known as "The Chicago Declaration".

The Chicago Declaration
This declaration, titled by the participants "A Declaration of Evangelical and Social Concern," accuses America of being an unjust society and proceeds to confess our corporate sins. It bothers me to have someone else confessing my sins, particularly when it sounds as if it might be a visiting communist commissar in the confessional. Parts of the Declaration read as follows:

We acknowledge that God requires justice. But we have not proclaimed or demonstrated his justice to an unjust American society. Although the Lord calls us to defend the social and economic rights of the poor and oppressed, we have mostly remained silent...

We must attack the materialism of our culture and the maldistribution of the nation's wealth and services. We recognize that as a nation we play a crucial role in the imbalance and injustice of international trade and development. Before God and a billion hungry neighbors, me must rethink our values regarding our present standard of living and promote more just acquisition and distribution of the world's resources...

We acknowledge our Christian responsibilities of citizenship. Therefore, we must challenge the misplaced trust of the nation in economic and military might a proud trust that promotes a national pathology of war and violence which victimizes our neighbors at home and abroad...

We acknowledge that we have encouraged men to prideful domination and women to irresponsible passivity.

No godly American can be happy about our nation today. Any Christian must be grieved by abortion, unrighteousness, drunkenness, drugs, pornography, wickedness in high places, the removal of the Bible and prayer from our schools, and a state religion of secular humanism. Yet, recognizing our sinful state is one thing, and repeating the anti-American charges against our nation is another.

When Paul counseled with James, Cephas and John at Jerusalem, they added one word to him: "Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do." We read in Acts 11 that Paul acted as a courier from the Church at Antioch to take a charity offering to the brethren in Judea. Later he brought a similar offering to the saints at Jerusalem from the churches of the west. That is the kind of thing Scripture teaches that we ought to do. Our faith is to make us succorers of the poor (especially among the brethren) but not sponsors of the economic rights of the poor. The church was never charged to address the imbalance and injustice of international trade. Is it the business of the church to accuse our nation of "a national pathology of war and violence"? As a pastor I have encouraged godly men to take the leadership of their homes and godly women to follow that lead. Is that encouraging men "to prideful domination and women to irresponsible passivity"? The last statement sounds more like Bella Abzug than a faithful pastor.

Who Signed
Among the signers of this leftist declaration, Christianity Today listed Samuel Escobar of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Carl E H. Henry, a former editor of Christianity Today, Professor Bernard Ramm, Foy Valentine of the Southern Baptist Convention, author Joseph Bayly and Sharon Gallagher of the Christian World Liberation Front of Berkely. Of all the names, the last would seem to be the most in place.

Out of the conference in Chicago developed a new organization, Evangelicals for Social Action. Ronald Sider has served as President of that group and also as Executive Director. Vernon Grounds has also served as Evangelicals for Social Action President. Sider is a well of radical ideas, but he does practice what he preaches. His family led a group of about 40 adults and children in moving into a decaying section of the Germantown district in Philadelphia, organizing themselves into a church called the Jubilee Fellowship.

Meeting a Russian Invasion
Speaking at a conference billed as, "The Church and Peacemaking in a Nuclear Age," Sider gave this Ghandi-like policy for meeting an invading Russian army: "We would meet them on the shores, on our knees, praying for them, but standing together and vowing not to cooperate with any of their orders:" (Might I suggest that they also sing, "We Shall Overcome"?) In the rest of his speech Sider proposed dismantling the U.S. military complex. According to the Fundamental News Service, August 1983, the conference was organized by 18 groups which included Evangelicals for Social Action and Youth for Christ.

Sider wrote a book titled, Completely Pro-Life, published by InterVarsity. Reading the title I almost said, "At last, I can agree." The book was reviewed in WORLD for October 5, 1987 and in Christianity Today for October 21, 1988. The reviews reveal that the book goes considerably beyond opposition to abortion. WORLD says the following:

In this latest work, Sider proposes that Christians adopt a more thoroughgoing approach to 'life' issues. Most notably, he ties together an anti-abortion stance with an anti-nuclear weapons stance.

Christianity Today said the following:

The book, in one respect, is a statement of the position of Evangelicals for Social Action. Ron Sider president of ESA was assisted by qualified ESA staff, who contributed about one third of the material. The teamwork itself is a witness to the consensus of 'thought that does already exist among many evangelicals on the issues of abortion, the family, nuclear weapons, and responsibility to the poor.

Clever Combination
I would grant, or at least hope, that there is unity among evangelicals on opposition to abortion. However, what consensus would there be on things such as nuclear arms? Sider himself answered that question in an interview with Christianity Today for July 10, 1987:

I estimate that at least 25 percent of the country's 35 to 50 million evangelicals agree with ESA's approach. They want to say no to an unrestrained nuclear arms race, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and abortion. They want to say yes to the family, the environment, and a bi-lateral and verifiable nuclear freeze.

The quotation shows that Sider is a point man who recognizes that most of the movement is not yet with him, but he intends to lead it in that direction. Notice the clever way that he seeks to sanctify a political agenda by joining it to abortion and the family. It should come as no surprise that the WORLD review states that Sider "calls for rejection of 'doctrinaire anticommunism' which he says often degenerates into an unbiblical hatred for the Soviet people rather than the Soviet system." That statement glosses over the fact that what he calls "doctrinaire anticommunism" has always been a study of the Soviet system and never of the Soviet people.

Before leaving Ronald J. Sider and Evangelicals for Social Action it might be well to point out a few others who have served on the Board of ESA and apparently share its viewpoint. Calvary Contender for September 1, 1987 says that Dr. Tony Campolo of Eastern College (formerly Eastern Baptist), Dr. Richard Lovelace of Gordon-Conwell Seminary and Evangelist Tom Skinner are serving, or have served on the board of ESA. The Advisory Board includes Jay Kesler, John Perkins, David Hubbard and Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon.

Ronald J. Sider is certainly one of the intellectuals in residence in the social action phalanx of new evangelicalism. He writes the books that new evangelicals read, review and recommend to their churches.

ANTHONY (TONY) CAMPOLO
Every college has at least one professor whom you "must take" to have a real education. Students will say, "You haven't lived until you have had Anthropology 101 from Dr. Blank." On the campus of Eastern College in St. David's, Pennsylvania, that magical professor is Chairman of the Sociology Department, Dr. Tony Campolo. A recent clipping also lists him as an Associate Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Christianity Today characterizes his style as being that of "confrontation, hyperbole and wit." That should make for an interesting course.

Eastern College students have not been alone in enjoying that style. As I read the speakers' lists for the explos and extravaganzas of new evangelicalism I find Dr. Campolo's name recurring. He has been a featured speaker for InterVarsity Christian Fellowhip, Youth for Christ and the National Council of Churches. He has written for World Vision, appeared on Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family and produced educational videos for David C. Cook.

Too New for New Evangelicals
A few years ago Dr. Campolo was booked to be a main speaker at Youth Congress '85 in Washington, D.C. The Congress was a characteristic new evangelical extravaganza expected to bring 15,000 teenagers to the capitol city The event was cosponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ and Youth for Christ. However, a group of Evangelical Free Church pastors in Illinois had read Campolo's book, A Reasonable Faith, and decided that it was not so reasonable. They protested his appearance and declined to have their young people attend if the invitation to Campolo was not rescinded. On receiving this news and investigating the controversial statements, the sponsoring organizations cancelled Campolo's invitation. Youth for Christ's Jay Kesler still defended Campolo but went along with the cancellation for the sake of unity We have already observed the neutralism of Campus Crusade, but here was a speaker who was too new evangelical for the new evangelicals. That is truly a distinction. Since new evangelicalism has taken such a laissez-faire attitude toward reexamining traditional theology, how extreme could Campolo be?

Divinity in Every Man
The result of this controversy was a three-part report in Christianity Today for September 20. 1985, covering most of nine pages of the magazine. According to this report:

The focal point of the controversy in A Reasonable Faith is Campolo's development of the idea that Christ lives in all human beings, whether or not they are Christians. Campolo asserts in his book that he is not merely saying that all people reflect the image of God, but that the resurrected Jesus of history 'actually is present' in each person.

In addition, Campolo raised eyebrows with such statements as 'Jesus is the only Savior, but not everybody who is being saved by Him is aware that He is the one who is doing the saving.'

 

That sounds strangely like the idea that each man may come to God in his own way without any understanding of God's way of salvation. This sounds even more suspicious in words from World Vision for November 1988 quoted in the Calvary Contender for April 1, 1991: "I believe going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia... There are many ways... It doesn't make any difference how we go there. We all end up in the same place."

Later in the three-part article, when asked by the Christianity Today editors about the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell believers, Campolo stated the following:

The difference is this: God is at work in every human being, as it says in Romans. Every human being is approached by God. But the nature of every human being is to be at war with the God who is struggling to love him or her. When one surrenders to God, the power of the Holy Spirit breaks loose in that individual as never before, and all the fruits of the Spirit become operative in that person's life.

In other words, he views the Holy Spirit as being present in every man, but as breaking forth in new freedom when the man is saved. That is quite different from Christ's statement to His disciples in the upper room: 'And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever..." (John 14:16) Campolo's view seems quite related to the modernist's conception of a little bit of divinity in every man.

Campolo is against the use of the words of historic theological statements. Christianity Today quotes him as stating:

Evangelical Christianity is becoming intellectually sterile,' he said. I'm worried that evangelical intellectuals will not say anything except the old worn out terminology that only causes people to smile on us benevolently'

Campolo said he regards himself as a victim in what he called a 'wave of religious McCarthyism.'

Our Christology in particular was hammered out by godly men in the first few centuries of Christianity who argued over the specific meaning of the Greek words of their own language. They defined very explicitly the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ. Good theology through the years has retained their words because of their accuracy and perspicacity in setting forth the nature of Jesus Christ. My own theological eye teeth were cut on the three volumes of Charles Hodge. With Hodge I always had to keep my dictionary handy but I never thought he was guilty of "old worn out terminology." And, although this is not theological, poor Joseph McCarthy! He cannot rest in peace, for he gets resurrected every time a liberal politician or theologian feels the heat.

When you read some of Campolo you realize that, like many new evangelicals he is striving to be accepted by the world. He seems determined that the natural man will see that the gospel is reasonable. Consciously or unconsciously his whole approach to being reasonable fights with the clear statement of Scripture that "...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them. because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthians 2:14).

New Evangelical Dialectic
Campolo is a man whose thinking is filled with contradictions which he sets side by side in a dialectical manner, assuming that both facts are true. It is rare to see a man claim a belief in inerrancy and a belief in evolution in the same paragraph. Christianity Today states the following:

Tony vigorously affirms that the Bible is inerrant, but he says all our interpretations of the Bible must be submitted to the authority of the church. While he accepts an evolutionary view of the origin of man and the universe (albeit not Darwin's version), he holds that this is consistent with Scripture that teaches only the fact (not the method) of Creation.

In plain words, he is obviously a theistic evolutionist.

Which Team?
Godly people of a scholarly bent have always had a great respect for the Christian thinkers of the past. Campolo has chosen a different set of heroes.

In his appeal to the secular mind, Tony frequently downplays orthodox heroes like Luther, Calvin, and Wesley and draws his insights selectively from Karl Marx, Paul Tillich, Martin Buber and Teilhard de Chardin. Often he finds that the secular world view has embedded within it 'more faith than I find in most churchmen.'

If I could choose my team of heroes, I would choose the three suited up in the uniform of faith over the four wearing the colors of unbelief.

Campolo's definition of history, taken from the same issue of Christianity Today, has a familiar ring to it: "History is a class struggle between the oppressed peoples of the world and their oppressors." Familiar? Yes, but doesn't it seem strange that a Christian and the communists would share the same view of history? In one of his latest books, Wake Up America, Campolo praised communist heroes such as James Cone and Martin Luther King, the blasphemous German theologian Dietrich Bonhoffer and fellow new evangelical radical Ronald Sider. At a National Council of Churches meeting in May of 1988, the Christian News for June 6, 1988 reported that he praised the Catholic nun, Mother Teresa, and stated that "Ghandi was more Christian than most Christians." The liberals love to say such things, but how can a man who rejected Christ be more Christian than anybody? The Cleveland Plain Dealer for February 16, 1991 reported an appearance in that city at the Epworth-Euclid United Methodist Church, one of Cleveland's most radical. The article further stated that "During his appearance here, he will also boost the Cleveland chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a program that helps the poor obtain decent housing." That program has been championed by exPresident Jimmy Carter, who is frequently pictured swinging his hammer on its behalf.

There you have it: some observations on a new evangelical too new evangelical for Campus Crusade. Surely Dr. Campolo's statements, aired for all to see in Christianity Today, would be a warning to other groups. No, that is not new evangelicalism. At Urbana '87, the very next InterVarsity Missionary Conference after the exposure of 1985, Dr. Campolo was one of the featured speakers to the 18,700 delegates assembled at the University of Illinois. When Campus Crusade lets me down, surely InterVarsity will take me up.

ROBERTA HESTENES
In this day of equal rights for women one dare not be guilty of speaking of male new evangelicals only. Turning from Tony Campolo, let's take a brief look at his boss, Roberta Hestenes, President of Eastern College.

Christianity Today for March 3, 1989, in an article titled, "Roberta Hestenes: Taking Charge" states the following:

As president of Eastern College in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, she is the first woman in that position among the schools of the evangelical Christian College Coalition. As the activist chairman of World Vision, she exerts power in one of the largest parachurch organizations in the world.

Hestenes came out of a tragic family background. She attended Whittier College in California and came to Christ at a small Quaker church as a result of the influence of the faculty advisor to the Lutheran student group. After moving to Washington State with her husband and family she came under the influence of Dr. Robert Munger of the University Presbyterian Church in Seattle. Through responsibilities in that church, her abilities as a teacher and organizer became known. In 1969 Munger moved to the faculty of Fuller Seminary and was not content until Hestenes followed.

George Marsden, in his Reforming Fundamentalism, chronicles the movement at Fuller to change the emphasis of the school from that of a seminary to more of a trade school. On page 274 he says the following:

As we have seen, the School of Psychology and the School of World Mission were, by their very natures, oriented toward the practical, and many of their faculty had little patience with the old seminary ideal. Now, however, at the School of Theology itself, such views were common. Especially in the practical field, spokespersons such as the influential Roberta Hestenes, a Robert Munger protégé, emphasized that a seminary was not just the intellectual center of the Body of Christ, but also a theological resource center for ministry or service in the broad sense. For this purpose, spiritual formation was probably more important than theological precision.

Christianity Today, in the issue mentioned previously also noted this thought:

Hestenes made a mark at Fuller... Not content merely to teach communications, she helped invent a new major, something called Christian Formation and Discipleship. Within the name is an assertion: making disciples, not accumulating knowledge, should be at the heart of the seminary as well as the church.

Seminaries have always argued over the nature of their course. My own training was at a school which carried on the Princeton tradition that the curriculum should be language, exegesis, theology and church history. We students always sang the tune that we needed more practical courses. After forty years in the ministry I confess that I have needed all four of the disciplines seminary gave me. Hestenes was on the other side of that argument. I think that is why it does not trouble her to have Dr. Campolo's indefinite theology on the faculty It would seem that she values service more than theological precision.

Hestenes stayed at Fuller to earn the traditional seminary degree and a Doctor of Ministries. She was ordained in the United Presbyterian Church. So, an ordained Presbyterian minister is President of an American Baptist School. Both denominations are part of the National and World Councils of Churches.

Truly a Christian
Hestenes, like her employee, Campolo, was a speaker at Urbana '87. Moody for February, 1988 quoted her as saying that "One is not truly a Christian until their heart has been broken by the things that break the heart of Jesus." She was speaking of social action. That is a high sounding statement. Is it theologically true? No, one is a Christian the moment he is convicted by the Holy Spirit and casts his all on Christ. At that moment he is truly a Christian. He will be no more "truly a Christian" after years of Christian service. Her statement, in its context, seeks to make the new evangelical point that the saving gospel and the social gospel are equal halves of the same thing.

Communion at Lausanne II
The Second International Congress on World Evangelization was held July 11-20, 1989 in Manila, the Philippines. It is commonly referred to as Lausanne II and was a follow-up of what was begun at Lausanne '74. The speaker at the communion service was none other than the ordained Presbyterian lady from the Baptist college, Roberta Hestenes. The theme of her message was ecumenicity. Foundation, whose reporter personally covered the meeting, in its issue of May-July 1989, quoted her message as follows:

One obstacle we must face is our attitude as evangelicals toward those whose traditions are other than our own. And there are great difficulties, and burdens, and problems here. But toward those who are fellow Christians in The Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, to those fellow Christians in the Conciliar and Ecumenical movement, to those fellow Christians in the Pentecostal and charismatic or non-Pentecostal and non-charismatic movements - we must acknowledge that God, Who is Lord of the whole Church, is doing astonishing things among many parts of His Church.

Notice again the new evangelical penchant for dismissing all church history and sound doctrine with a snuff of contempt and claiming as brethren all who have any semblance of churchianity There may be true believers among the Roman Catholics, the ecumenicals and the charismatic movement. Wherever we find them, they are to be pitied and helped into the full light of the Word of God. To embrace them as equals, while we leave them bound in the darkness of Catholicism, the blasphemy of ecumenism and the confusion of charismaticism, is to fail to discharge our Scriptural duty to those who have erred.

In 1980 Hestenes joined the board of World Vision. She rose to chairman of that board. It is interesting that the current president of World Vision is Robert A. Seiple. Before coming to that position, he was Hestenes' predecessor as president of Eastern College. World Vision has been one of the most radical of the social action arms of new evangelicalism. Foundation magazine for November/December 1982 reproduced a copy of information sent out by World Vision in November 1981, to one of their contributors who requested a statement of their position. Observe that Mrs. Hestenes was a member of the board at that time.

World Vision's view of the church is broad and inclusive, rather than narrow and exclusive. We hold to a traditional evangelical Protestant view of the church. We believe that the true church is made up of those whom God has redeemed through their faith in Jesus as His Son. We recognize that there are some churches who claim to be Christian, but in whom we find no common belief in the uniqueness of Christ and the lostness of non-believers. At the same time we find no scriptural mandate for excluding ourselves from any who name Christ as Lord.

Notice how cleverly the statement gives a correct view of the true church and then justifies cooperation with the apostate church. For a Scriptural mandate they might try 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

The statement goes on to say:

We believe that there are large numbers of Christians in many different ecclesiastical traditions. In many countries we are working alongside and sometimes with members and officials of other traditions, such as the Roman Catholic. We have at times, been criticized because of our cooperation with this and other expressions of the church.

Catholicism, to World Vision, is just one of the "other expressions of the church." Like other neutralists, they are unaware of the sixteenth-century Reformation. We have seen this same neutralist blind spot in the National Association of Evangelicals, Billy Graham and Campus Crusade. It is a neutralist trademark to count Catholics as equal believers and to cease evangelism. Every born-again ex-Catholic knows that is wrong.

Let me quote one final paragraph from the World Vision document:

We will always consider who has the knowledge, skills and experience to carry out a particular project. If we are faced with a situation in which evangelicals do not have the gift and experience that are required we will carefully consider the impact of our cooperation with other more qualified groups, and the overall impact on the effectiveness of Christ's ministry. In all of this, we will make every attempt to insure that our assistance or cooperation will not be used as a divisive force between Christians.

Do you see through that paragraph? In essence it says, "We will try to do the task with Christians, but if that doesn't work, we will do it with the unsaved."

Hand in Hand with Hammer
World Vision practices what it preaches. Those with long memories may remember a terrible earthquake in Armenia about the end of 1987. Christianity Today for January 13, 1989 said that when news of the earthquake arrived, ideological differences were quickly set aside. "Within days of the earthquake, World Vision combined efforts with industrialist Armand Hammer to present a $1 million relief gift to Mikhail Gorbachev..." Readers will recognize Armand Hammer as one of our nation's premier Soviet sympathizers.

Might I ask, "What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14). The context of that question is the context of being yoked with unbelievers in spiritual work. World Vision has deliberately decided on disobedience. This is not the result of Mrs. Hestenes' leadership, for World Vision had these policies before she ever sat on the board. However, she has apparently acquiesced in them.

My latest mailing from World Vision (February 1992) over the signature of Robert Seiple, President, begins as follows: "I have some great news! World Vision has been given $1 million in U.S. government grants for our children's programs." The letter is accompanied by a double set of facsimile checks which shows that the government will double match my gift of $10.00. Wait just a minute. In these days of "separation of church and state." how does a "Christian" relief organization get double matching funds from the U.S. government? I don't know the answer to that.

As I have read and written about Roberta Hestenes, another intellectual in residence, I was touched by the testimony of her conversion, but troubled by her part in new evangelicalism. Her career includes being President of Eastern College, Chairman of the Board of World Vision, and participating in two National Council of Churches' connections. That is confusing. That is neutralism.

DR. ARTHUR F. GLASSER
The time is 1973. The place is Bangkok, Thailand. The occasion is a conference of the World Council of Churches, the official leadership body of worldwide apostasy Dr. Arthur F. Glasser sits on a committee to produce one of the conference reports. He is not there as an observer of apostasy but as a participant. He is on the Steering Committee for the conference and is the main author of the report of his group titled, "Affirmation on Salvation Today"

Who is Dr. Arthur F. Glasser and what is he doing at a meeting of the World Council of Churches? Glasser is a prominent new evangelical who is followed by many in the mission area of the movement. Surprisingly he received his theological education at separatist Faith Theological Seminary. He became a mission executive with the China Inland Mission, later to become the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. By the date of the conference mentioned above he was Dean of the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary. He held his denominational membership in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. That body also came out of a separatist beginning. In 1936 the Orthodox Presbyterian Church was formed by pastors and laymen who separated from the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. because of its apostasy. J. Gresham Machen was its first moderator. A year later the Bible Presbyterian Church emerged from this beginning. Out of this group came the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in 1956. The main issue of division was separation from apostasy and compromise. The Bible Presbyterian Church took the stronger side; the Evangelical Presbyterian Church took the weaker. In 1965 this latter body merged with the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America to form the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. Later the group was to become part of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and become a constituent body of the National Association of Evangelicals. Despite its separatist parentage, to the best of my knowledge, there was never any movement in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod to discipline a ministerial member for being an official part of world apostasy This illustrates the dizzying, downward course of new evangelicalism. In 1936 Glasser's seminary professors and ministerial forebears were leaving the apostasy of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. By 1973 they could sit idly by as a ministerial brother went to Bangkok to join fellowship with worse apostates than those their forebears left thirty-seven years before.

In May 1980 the World Council of Churches was again in a Conference on Mission and Evangelism in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Glasser was present and participated. His example had paved a path for other new evangelicals to follow. The new evangelical publication, New Life, for June 5, 1980 listed the names of sixteen "evangelicals" present at Melbourne. The list included Waldron Scott, General Secretary of the World Evangelical Fellowship; Orlando Costas, Professor of Missiology at Eastern Baptist Seminary; Bruce Nicholls, Executive Secretary of the Theology Commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship; Clark Pinnock, Professor of Theology at McMaster University in Toronto and Gottfried Osei-Mensah, Executive Secretary of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. You will recall that the Lausanne Committee was a Billy Graham project. I do not know the parts taken by these new evangelical delegates. I do know that Pinnock officially participated in a section titled, "Witnessing to the Kingdom."

Glasser, in an interview with New Life for July 3, 1980 commented on what he termed the progress between Bangkok and Melbourne. He said as follows:

Yes, l could wish there had been more rapid progress because I still feel a tension within the gathering. But I do feel there was some progress. Repentance, faith - these were mentioned and mentioned rather frequently in the section I was with.

Here, in the bosom of a group which rejects Biblical inerrancy, the substitutionary atonement, and espouses Marxist-style socialism, Glasser is encouraged that they mention repentance and faith. Pinnock, also commenting in New Life said as follows:

In this Conference we have a new social gospel, and a lot of people thinking there is a new hope in the Marxist revolution as bringing about a greater state of justice in the world. In a sense, the older social gospel was the belief that in gradually reforming the world men could bring about a better one, whereas now it is much more revolutionary and left wing.

Are we to interpret Glasser as a deluded new evangelical who just doesn't understand the problem, or as a new evangelical whose apostate fellowship has moved him into the radical social gospel camp? Perhaps we should let some of his own words answer the question. The Discerner for January-March, 1975, quoted from Mission Trends No.1, a book published jointly by Paulist Press (Roman Catholic) and Wm. B. Eerdmans. The opening essay of the book is by Arthur E Glasser.

The Church must discern the times and be sensitive to the context in which God has placed it. It must make sure that its presentation of Christ is authentic and meaningful. This presupposes that God is moving in history and that his redemptive concern extends to the totality of the human condition. In these days of widespread exploitation and injustice the conversion process is affected by the socioeconomic, political, cultural and human environment in which it occurs (Guiterrez, 1973:205). The Gospel calls not only to total communion with God but also to 'the fullest brotherhood with all men.' Hence, true conversion to Christ's Lordship must inevitably bring one into authentic solidarity with those who suffer from injustice. The Church must accompany its witness to the liberating Christ with prophetic protest against all that enslaves and with deep commitment to 'the poor, the marginated and the exploited.'

That, friend, is a statement which reeks more of Marx than of Christ. Notice the Marxist buzz words -exploitation, injustice, solidarity, prophetic protest, marginated. It smells more of socialism than Scripture. One should be shocked by his reference, in the middle of the quote, to Gustavo Guiterrez. Guiterrez is a South American Catholic who might be called the father of liberation theology. His book, quoted by Glasser, is A Theology of Liberation. Let me quote from the same page of Guiterrez from which Glasser quotes:

To be converted is to commit oneself to the process of the liberation of the poor and oppressed, to commit oneself lucidly, realistically and concretely. It means to commit oneself not only generously, but also with an analysis of the situation and a strategy of action... Our conversion process is affected by the socio-economic, political, cultural, and human environment in which it occurs. Without a change in these structures, there is no authentic conversion.

Again, that is pure socialism, Marxism, liberation theology. l know that when God saved me, I was truly converted. It had nothing to do with socio-economic, political or cultural factors. It had to do solely with the fact that the Spirit of God convicted me about my rotten heart and showed me that I must turn to Christ as my only hope. It was an authentic conversion without any change in the structures about which Guiterrez and Glasser harm

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