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5210
“New Neutralism Ch 12-13”
by John Ashbrook   
January 12th, 2009

CHAPTER  12

THE NEW NEUTRALISM - The Institutions 

In the prior chapter on Jerry Falwell, I quoted the Newsweek article for April 26, 1982 titled, "The Split-Up Evangelicals." I again quote from that same article:

For somewhat different reasons, Graham agrees that no one preacher is likely to take his place. 'The leadership of evangelicalism is no longer in the hands of individuals,' he says. 'It's in the hands of institutions.' As Graham sees it, the institutions that will shape the future of evangelicalism include seminaries such as Fuller Theological in Pasadena, California, Southwestern Baptist in Houston, Texas and Gordon-Conwell in South Hamilton, Mass. They also embrace such evangelical colleges as Calvin in Grand Rapids, Mich., Westmont in Santa Barbara, Calif, and Graham's own alma mater, Wheaton, in Illinois. In addition, there are the parachurch agencies such as Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth for Christ and the lnterVarsity Christian Fellowship, as well as the hundreds of TV and radio ministries that make up what is known as 'the electronic church'.

I am not given to agreeing with Billy Graham, but he is absolutely right that the institutions, particularly the schools, will set the direction for the future. It is obvious, from the statement quoted above, that if those institutions set the course of the future that course will continue leftward. Fuller has moved from a scholarly seminary to a zoo displaying all the theological species. Southwestern Baptist partakes of the parity of belief now popular in the Southern Baptist Convention. President Russell H. Dilday Jr. has openly sided with the "moderates" (modernists) in the Convention in opposing the election of "conservative" (new evangelical) presidents. Earlier in this paper I have commented on Gordon-Conwell and some of its new evangelical professors. It is enough to point out that Dr. Billy Graham is Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Calvin is thoroughly in the new evangelical camp. A book could easily be written defending the thesis that Wheaton College is the educational parent of new evangelicalism. Dr. Ockenga, and a majority of the founding fathers of Fuller in particular and new evangelicalism in general, had roots at Wheaton. Westmont was established to be the Wheaton of the West, and it has followed the pattern in its espousal of neutralism.

Fundamentalists Started Schools
In this chapter I am going to ignore the other institutions which Graham mentions and concentrate on schools. I have put off the beginning of this chapter because I did not know how to approach the subject. The new evangelicals like to scoff at fundamentalists as uneducated folks who despise education. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fathers of fundamentalism were very good at starting schools. The colleges with which I was familiar as a young man were started by fundamentalists - Wheaton College, Bryan College, Bob Jones University, Tennessee Temple College, Grace College, Kings College, Moody Bible Institute, and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. The tragedy of this hour in history is that almost all of the schools started by fundamentalists have been seduced by the new neutralism. Of the schools which I have given above, only Bob Jones University retains fundamentalist moorings. A book is waiting to be written about the new evangelical capture of fundamentalist schools.

I will not attempt to write that book. Rather, I will use three schools as illustrations of what has happened. I will illustrate with a Bible institute, a university and a seminary. What has happened in these three has happened in the rest. Fundamentalists have always been accused of being vicious fighters. It impresses me that in the battle to save the schools, fundamentalists forgot to fight.

"My Education for a Year at Moody"
My father had an excellent education at Westminster College and Pittsburgh Xenia Seminary He followed that with graduate work at New College, Edinburgh and Oxford University. In his day (1920) those schools had a name for being true to the Bible. Actually all of them were tinged with incipient modernism which robbed them of the clarity of the gospel. He used to say to me that he would trade his ten years of higher education for one good year at Moody Bible Institute. That was the reputation which Moody had earned in American fundamentalism. As a boy I thought that every good missionary came from Moody.

Alas, there is a different Moody today. No declaration was ever made saying, "We have left fundamentalism and are now in the new evangelical camp." By a quiet progression, the change was made. I recall hearing a former Moody president declare that the school would not support the Graham Crusade in Chicago because of its ecumenism. However, at its 100th anniversary celebration in 1986, Billy Graham was the featured speaker. The favor was returned the following July when Moody's president, Dr. George Sweeting, gave a major address at Graham's Amsterdam '86.

Moody is famous for its Founder's Week Conference each February. Pastors from all over America attend and take the messages of the week back to their congregations. In recent years the conference program has been 'old home week' for new evangelicals. Moody also sponsors an annual Pastor's Conference and other lesser gatherings. These conferences expose the pastors, some of them fundamentalists, to new evangelicals whom they would not have in their own pulpits.

The Speaker's List at Moody
Those whom I have called "the popularizers" of new evangelicalism have all been there. Dr. Charles Swindoll, Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Warren Wiersbe (a former pastor of Moody Church), Dr. S. M. Lockridge, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Dr. Luis Palau, Dr. E. V Hill, Dr. Bill Hybels and Charles Colson have appeared. Southern Baptists like Charles Stanley and W. A. Criswell have been there. Dallas Seminary professors like Dr. John Walvoord, Dr. Gene Getz and Dr. Howard Hendricks have been frequent invitees.

Dr. John R. W. Stott, the worldwide ecumenicist, spoke at the World Council of Churches meeting at Nairobi and at Founder's Week two years later. Shortly after being on the Moody platform, Stott chaired the National Evangelical Anglican Congress in Nottingham, England which pledged to work toward full communion between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Dr. Billy Kim, Billy Graham's interpreter in his Korean appearances, has appeared at Founder's Week. He is Korean director of the Far Eastern Gospel Crusade and has served as president of the Southern Baptist Churches of Korea. Dr. Ed Dobson, the co-author of Jerry Falwell's The Fundamentalist Phenomenon, which lobbies for the union of fundamentalism and new evangelicalism, has been there. Josh McDowell of Campus Crusade has appeared. The list would also include men still in the Northern Baptist Convention and the U.S.A. Presbyterian Church. Such ties connect them to the National Council of Churches.

"I Heard Him at Moody"
The tragedy of this is that pastors who attend these conferences are encouraged to use these new evangelical speakers in their own pulpits. After all, if Moody uses them, they must be all right. New evangelicalism has not moved ahead on a doctrinal level, but it has on this associational level. It has been years since a Moody conference featured a man who had a reputation as a fundamentalist.

Moody Music
As the message declines, so does the music. An article in Moody for February 1979 titled, "MBI Impact," quoted music instructor David Brackley as saying, "We are trying to span as many musical tastes as possible...we use a few classical numbers, but our music is mainly more contemporary gospel music." I live under the broadcast umbrella of a Moody radio station, WCRF, Cleveland. When the station first went on the air we enjoyed the mixture of great Christian music with classical interludes. That has now degenerated to an amalgam of good music, contemporary Christian music, jazz and rock. Those who write critical letters to the station are informed that people of a variety of tastes listen to the station and the station seeks to satisfy all of those tastes. Christian music ought to be played to please the Lord and to create a proper taste in the hearts of listeners. Moody radio stations bear the onus of having changed the musical tastes of the Bible believing churches in their listening areas.

No Warning Label
In the late 1980's Moody magazine presented a series of articles by Moody associate professor Dr. Leslie Keylock titled, "Evangelical Leaders You Should Know." Featured under this wholesome sounding title was the most astounding list of radical new evangelicals that one could conceive. Moody for March 1987 introduced Dr. David Moberg, professor of sociology at Marquette University a writer in the mold of Ronald Sider. The May issue in 1988 featured Fuller Professor Colin Brown, who is now one of the fellows of the "Jesus Seminar" which is trying to ascertain what parts of the New Testament Jesus really did speak. The December issue for 1987 presented Lutheran Richard John Neuhaus, who has now left Lutheranism to enter the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church. Moody for February 1987 featured Richard Pierard, president of the Evangelical Theological Society. Pierard's book, The Cross and the Flag, states that ...the radical right poses the greatest threat to the American political system" (102). The same magazine's October 1986 issue introduced Dr. Vernon Grounds, to whom we have already dedicated sufficient space. September 1987 presented Catholic psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz. Vitz has written some good things on education, but he is far from being an evangelical leader. The February 1988 publication was dedicated to Dr. James Skillen, who has lavishly praised the South African radical Desmond Tutu. Bethel Seminary Dean Dr. Millard Erickson occupied the space for June 1987. Dr. Donald Bloesch was the subject for March 1988. Bloesch is an ecumenical theologian who has taught for thirty years at Presbyterian Dubuque Theological Seminary. A book review in the March 3, 1975 Christian News stated that he "...welcomes the new Social Gospel and is encouraged by Evangelical involvement in the ecumenical movement." All of the above men were presented in the articles as Christian heroes. No warnings were given of ecumenism, unbelief, radicalism or neo-orthodoxy. It is interesting that no biographies of men of traditional fundamentalist persuasion graced the series. Either Moody published these articles in monthly fits of naiveté, or there was a calculated policy of new evangelicalism.

Back to Fundamentalism?
The torch of leadership changed hands at Moody in 1987. Dr. George Sweeting retired in favor of Dr. Joseph Stoll. Stoll's background is the General Association of Regular Baptists. His father, of the same name, was national representative for the GARBC in the 1970's. Many observers hoped that a president from a professedly separatist background would reverse the trend of the Moody movement. Such has not been the case. The parade of new evangelical speakers has continued across Moody's platform. I have seen Dr. Stoll's name listed as speaker or participant in meetings at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, including the Evangelical Affirmations Conference in 1989. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School has never claimed to be anything other than new evangelical.

Moody has completely capitulated to neutralism. It is tragic to see one of the great schools of American fundamentalism now in the new evangelical camp. "How have the mighty fallen!"

BIOLA University
Schools, like children, always desire to grow bigger than they are. Bible institutes strive to be Bible colleges. Bible colleges aspire to be liberal arts colleges. Liberal arts colleges are seeking to be universities. BIOLA's name is an acrostic which testifies to the time when it was a Bible institute. It has gone through all the stages.

A Fundamentalist Beginning
BIOLA began as a fundamentalist institution. It was founded in 1908 by Dr. T C. Horton. The Niagara Creed, which came out of one of the early fundamental Bible conferences, was its doctrinal statement. Its first dean was Dr. Reuben A. Torrey who served as one of the editors of The Fundamentals, which defended the orthodoxy of Scripture against the attacks of modernism. Many in the new evangelical culture look down on Bible institute education, but the Bible Institute of Los Angeles had a proud record in training some of the great preachers of our nation.

Toleration
New evangelicals like to shame fundamentalists for a spirit of intolerance. Perhaps we should accept that taunt with pride. It is right to be intolerant of false doctrine, evolution and worldliness. Toleration is the word which stands out to me in assessing BIOLA University today.

Theistic Evolution
First, there is a toleration in doctrine. Dr. David Beale, in his book, In Pursuit of Purity, records the fact that the 1930 meeting of the Worlds Christian Fundamentals Association was held at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. It featured a debate between Dr. W B. Riley and Dr. Harry Rimmer on the question: "Resolved That the Creative Days of Genesis Were Aeons, Not Solar Days." Rimmer took the negative and reportedly won the debate (105). Both speakers were sworn to the death against evolution. (I wish I could have heard that debate, for Dr. Rimmer was one of my boyhood heroes. I complained of having to hear some preachers, but I was dressed and ready to go to hear Harry Rimmer.)

In 1981 Dr. Robert B. Fischer, the provost and senior vice-president of BIOLA, published a book on creation and evolution titled, God Did It, But How? In the book he takes the position of theistic evolution. On page 113 of his book he says, "To fear, or to oppose by ridicule, concepts of origins by processes describable by natural mechanisms is to limit God unduly..." In other words, his belief is the evolutionary premise that God created by natural mechanisms rather than by fiat creation. (Dr. Rimmer would have taken umbrage and opposed that by his masterful ridicule.) Apparently the book made no ripples on BIOLA's waters. Quite probably Fischer brought his theistic evolutionary view with him from his undergraduate days at Wheaton College.

Jazz Music
A second area of tolerance is that of music. Foundation for July/August 1981, published an official statement from the BIOLA Music Department giving the University position on the use of jazz music. The statement says the following:

... to a great degree, contemporary jazz has become 'classical.' It is also true that traditional jazz has to a great extent left its original association with the brothels of New Orleans, social dance, drinking, and other social practices which have represented 'worldly values.' Jazz, in effect, must be considered 'classical' in the broad sense of the term. It is entirely possible for college students to rehearse and perform jazz purely as another style of concert music.

Foundation goes on to make a correct observation that, "The official statement follows the usual new evangelical philosophy of defending worldly things on the basis that they are contemporary" I grew up in the jazz era. My parents forbade that style of music. As I look back, I am thankful for the dances, drink and dives their prohibition spared me. The world's music, in any era, has never enhanced the Lord's message. The devil was not able to be as blatant in the jazz era as he is in the rock generation, but the same raunchy fellow is behind both styles. Both mediums represent classic worldliness.

Toleration of jazz led to another step in 1988. According to the BIOLA Chimes for May 25, 1988 the University removed its historic prohibition against dancing. The article stated that, "Under the latest revision of the code, first written in the 1920's, students will be allowed to decide for themselves whether to dance, drink, smoke or gamble off campus during vacation periods." The article went on to say, "In addition, students will be allowed to dance off campus during the regular school year, but the school will sponsor no dances." BIOLA's President, Dr. Clyde Cook said, "I think it's a good step in helping to develop integrity and responsibility" The Baptist Bible Tribune for April 22, 1988 had a story with pictures, by Dr. R. L. Hymers recording his attendance at a campus dance in the school gymnasium. The event was billed as a concert with the slogan, "Stay mild or get wild" and was advertised as a concert with "no chairs."

Pro-Abortion
An unbelievable area of toleration in a Christian institution is the acceptance of a pro-abortion attitude on the faculty. Dr. Hymers, in a letter over his signature addressed, "To Whom It May Concern," dated April 28, 1988, quoted a front page article from the BIOLA Chimes giving a statement from Dr. George Nishida, head of the Department of Sociology The statement was made from the platform of the chapel during a discussion of abortion issues. It is as follows:

My personal philosophy is, and always has been, pro-choice. There was a law passed in 1973 that allows a person to make a choice. It gives the woman an ability to choose whether she wants abortion or not. It is a conscience matter-a morality matter, and I go along with pro-choice.

Hymers goes on to quote a published interview between two students and Dr. Nishida in his office. Dr. Nishida said as follows:

I have personally driven BIOLA girls to get abortions. I helped to pay for three BIOLA coeds to have abortions. They could fire me, but I don't think they will. If they fire me, they're going to have to fire a lot of other people. I will continue to help girls get abortions as long as it is legally possible to do so.

To the best of my knowledge these sick statements had no effect on Dr. Nishida's continuing employment. One wonders what it would take to be dismissed from BIOLA. You may guess how long Dr. Nishida would have lasted under T C. Horton or R. A. Torrey.

The Charismatic Movement
Another new evangelical penchant is the toleration of tongues. For the first eighty years of its existence BIOLA taught with traditional clarity on this issue. The March 1988 issue of CHARISMA & CHRISTIAN LIFE had an article titled "BIOLA University: A Place for All Christians." The thesis of the article is that charismatic students now find a happy home at BIOLA. It reads as follows:

One of Smith's colleagues at BIOLA University is John D. Carter, a professor of psychology. He was on the faculty of Rosemead before it became part of BIOLA in 1977. His church affiliation is with the Vineyard, a charismatic fellowship centered in Southern California.

Carter says the school is neutral on attitudes toward charismatics and Pentecostals. He adds, Last year the dean of Talbot (W. Bingham Hunter) announced that the seminary is no longer anti-charismatic.' And the university has already added a note to the statement of faith which says, 'The charismatic manifestations (e.g. tongues and healing) had special significance during the revelatory period of the New Testament apostolic era and are not at all a necessary special work of the Holy Spirit' That's still a tad negative, but it concedes a lot and is a big step forward from where things stood 20 years ago.

The article also describes a charismatic course titled "Spiritual Warfare," taught by Neil Anderson, chairman of the department of practical theology Part of the course deals with "demonic activity" in such things as anorexia and homosexuality.

Surprised?
In the light of these illustrations of toleration, would it surprise you to learn that BIOLA's 1989 Missions Conference featured a concert of the South African music group, "Themba," which led the crowd in chants exalting African Communist Nelson Mandela? Would you be surprised to know that the 1990 Missions Conference featured Dr. Anthony Campolo? Would it surprise you to learn that Dr. Ron Sider was a campus speaker in 1989 and spoke of setting up a BIOLA chapter of Evangelicals for Social Action?

"Toleration!" It is a good word in a proper setting. However, it is not a good word when applied to major components of the devil's program.

Dallas
Dallas Theological Seminary never claimed to be a fundamentalist institution. However, for many years I thought it was. As a young man in the membership of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America, I knew Dallas professors in that fellowship. The presidents of the Bible colleges in the I.F.C.A. orbit were mainly doctors from Dallas. In joining the organization, all had subscribed to the same constitution, born out of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. I assumed that Dallas must be a fundamentalist school.

In a letter on the Dallas Seminary letterhead from Dr. John Walvoord, dated May 22. 1979, the President clearly stated, "Dallas has never taken a position against Billy Graham, and it never will as long as I am President." Dr. Ockenga described the famous evangelist by saying, "... Billy Graham, who on the mass level is the spokesman of the convictions and ideals of new evangelicalism." It should be obvious to my readers that failing to take a stand against Billy Graham is failing to take a stand against new evangelicalism.

New Evangelical Places
Dallas professors have appeared in all the new evangelical places. The Dallas Insider for October 1986 recorded the sentiments of Dallas teacher-evangelist Larry Moyer, who said that it was an honor to be invited and to participate in Dr. Billy Graham's Amsterdam '86. Vice-president, Dr. Wendell Johnson, represented the Seminary at Lausanne II in Manila. He gave an enthusiastic report in the Dallas Insider and mentioned that several Dallas alumni were participating in the afternoon sessions. He failed to mention that also participating were charismatics such as Vinson Synan, Jack Hayford and John Wimber; invited observers from the Vatican; positive thinking gurus such as Dr. Robert Schuller and professional ecumenicists such as Dr. J. I. Packer and Dr. John R. W. Stott. A few years ago that would have been considered strange territory for Dallas professors. Sadly, they now appear to be at home on that turf.

Dallas professors answer roll call at Campus Crusade meetings, the Urbana Missions conferences, Southern Baptist Churches, Liberty University, Ashland Theological Seminary,  the Evangelical Affirmations Conference of the National Association of Evangelicals, National Council of Churches congregations, National Religious Broadcasters and a host of other places. Moody for February 1983 reported outgoing president John Walvoord participated in a "Solidarity Sabbath" meeting with a Jewish rabbi. New evangelical faces show up in new evangelical places.

The usual retinue of neutralist speakers has graced the platform at Dallas. Dr. Vernon Grounds spoke at commencement in 1979. Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson, who recently had a Moslem lead the opening prayer for the Senate, has been a frequent speaker. Dallas professors have returned the favor at the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Washington. Dr. Kenneth Kantzer, former Editor of Christianity Today spoke at commencement in 1987. Charles Colson has been a commencement speaker. Dr. Luis Palau, Dr. Joseph Stoll, Dr. Chuck Swindoll and other prominent new evangelicals are frequent speakers.

The Dallas Theological Seminary professors whom I knew in the 1950's seemed at home in a fundamental fellowship. Today, the faculty is at home in the new evangelical camp.

Special Rules for Schools
Our schools have had a particular weak spot for new evangelicalism. While seeking to be a forum of knowledge, they have tended to minimize a man's spiritual stand in deference to his expertise. The idea exists that educators are governed by a different set of principles in ecclesiastical fellowship. It seems to me that Biblical principles of fellowship are for pastors, people, missionaries and educators.

It is obvious in any culture that a nation's schools shape its future. That is tragically true in the United States. It is also true in the church. New evangelical schools are shaping our nation's religious future. I have heard it said concerning pastors that "a man's convictions are closest to those of the last school he attended." Therein lies the danger.

In this chapter on schools I have given a pitifully small sample - a Bible college, a university and a seminary However, what I have written could be duplicated in the case of dozens of formerly dependable Christian schools. It would take only the time to do the research, writing and reading.

Following the Pattern
I have spent my time writing about schools which are openly new evangelical. There is another set of schools which were born out of the separatist movement. This would include schools spawned by the General Association of Regular Baptists, the Baptist Bible Fellowship, the Independent Fundamental Churches of America and the Bible Presbyterian/Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Many of these schools have followed a familiar pattern. They soft pedal the distinctives of their past. They begin to use the popularizers as their speakers. They use the textbooks of the intellectuals in residence. They begin to trade professors and academic speakers with the new evangelical colleges. They add an administrator or two with weak convictions. Soon, without any declaration or change of doctrinal statement, they move from fundamentalism to new evangelicalism. Fundamentalist parents send their children off to the school they once attended, only to have them return home with new evangelical orientation.

I could name these schools. That is not the purpose of this book. However, pastors and parents should make themselves aware of the signs of new evangelicalism. Armed with that knowledge, they should investigate the schools of their own group to find whether they have drunk at the spring of new neutralism.

 

CHAPTER  13

THE NEW NEUTRALISM - A view from the Top of the hill 

My grandfather, on whose farm I spent my summers, used to drill corn with a one row corn planter. One spring he had a young mare called Nellie pulling his planter. Nellie panicked and ran away with the planter. When she had finished her fling, she ended up where she began, and Grandfather finished the job. After the corn came up, we could stand on the hill overlooking the field and trace Nellie's adventure. A great circle of corn was imposed on the orderly rows. When my father began his Evangelicalism: The New Neutralism in 1958, new evangelicalism was ten years old. As I write these lines in 1992, it is forty-four years old. After ten years it may be hard to see where a movement is going. After forty-four years it is easy to see where it has been.

Early in this book I stated that the mainspring of new evangelicalism is to be found in three determinations of its founder. First, new evangelicalism determined to reject Biblical separation. This determination removed the fences God had ordained to protect the church. From the hilltop of history it is easy to see that new evangelicalism, like Nellie, has traced a great circle back to the fellowship of apostasy The heroes of the 1930's led their followers to separate from apostasy New evangelicalism has led back into the apostasy their forefathers left. Worse still, the reformation has been vitiated, and the Pope is ready to welcome the wanderers home. The doctrinal fence which kept the charismatic movement in another pasture has been rolled up. New evangelicalism is moving toward one flock, no matter what men believe.

As I have studied the personalities of new evangelicalism I have observed that many new evangelicals were once fundamentalists or had fundamentalist training. Offended by one of the strong leaders of fundamentalism or galled by the restraints which Biblical obedience seemed to place on them, they moved into the fenceless plains of new evangelicalism. Apostasy is that departure from spiritual truth by individuals, churches, or organizations which once possessed the truth. A true apostate is one who once understood the truth. I am not saying that new evangelicals are apostates, but I do see a parallel. Many of the strongest leaders of neutralism are those who once stood for fundamentalism. They understood and deliberately rejected it.

Satan is building the one-world church of the end time. The separatists of the 1930's and 1940's removed a portion of the church from the progress of that program. The effect of new evangelicalism has been to deliver much of this portion back to the devil's program. Neutralism is an attack on Biblical obedience. When Biblical obedience is destroyed, it eventually destroys Biblical faith.

Secondly, new evangelicalism determined to find acceptance by the world. At first this was a craving for acceptance in scholarship and intellectual esteem. Soon that desire for acceptance moved on to culture, music and life style. The desire for acceptance has led to absorption into the world.

One of the key thoughts of new evangelicalism is toleration. That thought has led to the toleration of almost anything in the name of Christianity. Scripture does not say that God is tolerant, but it does say that God is holy. God said, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world." A craving for the world's acceptance, even in scholarship, will displace love for the Lord. "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (I John 2:15).

Is the new evangelical a brother in Christ? It has been difficult to write this book, because I recognize that many of the men I have written about are brethren. I feel that they are brethren disobedient to Scripture, but brethren nonetheless. However, I have had another observation. Let me illustrate. When you start a trip, you fill your gas tank and the gauge on your dashboard reads full. As you drive, it progresses to the other extreme and says empty On the journey of neutralism, write "believer" at the right hand side of your gas tank and "unbeliever" at the left. At the beginning of the journey the new evangelicals were liberal believers, brethren. At the end of the journey the new evangelicals begin to look more like unbelieving liberals. There is a place about the middle of the gauge where one asks, "Am I dealing with believer or unbeliever?" As I studied some of the figures of new evangelicalism I found myself saying, "He's a brother." Concerning others I had to say, "I don't believe he is a brother." On some I said, "I'm not sure."

The third determination of new evangelicalism was to add the social gospel to the scriptural gospel. When anything is added to the gospel, the addition always becomes more important than the gospel. Dr. Carl F. H. Henry tried to avoid that by denying the social gospel and saying that there was a social dimension of the gospel. Contemporary new evangelicalism has forgotten that distinction and set the saving gospel and the social gospel side by side as equally important. Since man is a fallen creature, the social gospel will win the day. Man is always more concerned with the needs of his body than with the needs of his soul. The New Testament method of helping mankind was by preaching. The neutralist method is protesting or politicking to gain the victory by government effort or changing the social order. This is not, and never was, the gospel.

I do not expect this book to be a great help to new evangelicals. Neutralists will think I am a critical, curmudgeonly old man who hates everyone. When anyone is critical in this tolerant world, he risks that reputation. Remember, friend, the message of this book does not depend on what you think of me. You must get back to your Bible. What does the Bible say about our fellowship? What does the Bible say about the world? What does the Bible say about the social gospel? New evangelicalism has trained men to follow scholars, books, evangelists and heroes. God wants us to follow His book, the Bible. Neutralism is popular. Is it Biblical? If it is Biblical, it is right. If it is not Biblical, it is wrong. Judge it from your Bible.

It is hard to be critical without developing a critical spirit. I have tried to do that. Some who read the book will feel that I have failed. I am given to humor and sometimes, sarcasm. Both have occasionally shown up in the book. I believe that they are proper arrows to use against a philosophy which I believe is wrong. I hope my readers will not be offended.

I hope that this book will help fundamental pastors. I hope it will strengthen their convictions. I hope it will help their people understand those convictions. The people of fundamental churches listen to the "popularizers." They read the books of the "intellectuals in residence." They get literature from historic schools which once stood true. They cannot understand their pastor's position. Pastors, I hope this book will help you.


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