The first president, Harold Ockenga, claimed to have coined the term “neo-evangelicalism” at the school’s founding. He said, “Neo-evangelicalism ... is different from fundamentalism in its repudiation of separatism and its determination to engage itself in the theological dialogue of the day. It had a new emphasis upon the application of the gospel to the sociological, political, and economic areas of life. Neo-evangelicals emphasized the restatement of Christian theology in accordance with the need of the times ... and the reexamination of theological problems such as the antiquity of man, the universality of the flood, God’s method of creation, and others” (foreword to Harold Lindsell’s The Battle for the Bible).
The repudiation of separation, dialogue with heretics, and the reexamination of so-called theological problems was blatant disobedience to God’s Word and was the opening of a can of worms that has corrupted evangelicalism.
In 1969, Charles Woodbridge, who was a professor at Fuller in its early days but left in protest of the compromise, warned of the downward slope of New Evangelicalism:
“The New Evangelicalism advocates TOLERATION of error. It is following the downward path of ACCOMMODATION to error, COOPERATION with error, CONTAMINATION by error, and ultimate CAPITULATION to error!” (Woodbridge, The New Evangelicalism, 1969).
The contamination and capitulation can be seen in every sphere. It is seen in ecumenical relationships.
On February 28, 1959, only a decade after renouncing “separatism,” Ockenga held the 150th anniversary service of Park Street Church in Boston, of which he was the pastor. Speakers included Dana McLean Greely, president of the American Unitarian Association, Charles H. Buck, Jr., modernist dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul, and Erwin Canham, editor of the Christian Science Monitor.
The contamination and capitulation can also be seen in theology, particularly in the downgrade of Bible inspiration.
Consider CHARLES SCALISE. He has taught history and theology at Fuller since 1994. He also supervises doctoral students in Advanced Theological Studies.
In 1996, InterVarsity Press published Scalise’s book From Scripture to Theology: A Canonical Journey into Hermeneutics.
Scalise argues for the schizophrenic position of accepting the conclusions of biblical criticism while at the same time holding the Bible as the “canonical Word of God.” He proposes the “canonical approach” of Yale Professor Brevard Childs who follows Karl Barth. Scalise uncritically describes how “the ‘postcritical’ hermeneutics of Karl Barth assists Childs in charting his way across ‘the desert of criticism’” (p. 44).
It is true that modern biblical criticism is a desert, but instead of rejecting it as the unbelieving heresy that it is the modern evangelical scholar tries to accept its conclusions while also attempting to hold the Bible as authoritative in some sense. In the first chapter of his book, Scalise plainly and unhesitatingly rejects the “facts-of-revelation” approach to Scripture that accepts the Bible as the historically accurate record of God’s infallible revelation (pp. 28-31).
Scalise does not believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch under divine inspiration or that the Old Testament record of miracles is accurate. He believes the Pentateuch was redacted by unknown editors centuries later (p. 56). He believes the Bible’s account of miraculous events is exaggerated. For example, he believes that the Egyptian chariots pursuing Israel merely got “stuck in the mud” (p. 39). He agrees with Karl Barth that the book of Numbers contains both “history” and “storylike saga” (p. 49). He believes portions of Amos were added by an unknown editor (p. 56). He thinks that viewing the Bible as entirely historical is dangerous (p. 79). He does not believe the apostle Paul wrote the book of Ephesians nor that it was originally addressed to the church at Ephesus (p. 58). Scalise wants the Catholic apocryphal books to be accepted as canonical (pp. 60, 61). He commends an approach to the biblical canon that has “a firm center and blurred edges” (p. 60).
Scalise says, “The Bible is the Word of God because God speaks through it” (p. 22). That is a false, subjective Barthian view of Scripture. In fact, the Bible is the Word of God because it is the Word of God, regardless of whether man feels that God is speaking through it.
Scalise claims that comparisons of the Trinity to the self by theologians like Karl Rahner and comparisons of the Trinity to community by theologians like Leonard Hodgson and Jurgen Moltmann “are within the channel of orthodoxy” (p. 103).
He does not like the “negative view of tradition” that comes from the Protestant Reformation, and he believes the Protestants and Catholics simply misunderstood one another (p. 73). He believes it is possible to reconcile the differences by requiring that the Bible be interpreted within the context of church tradition (p. 74). In fact, if the Bible must be interpreted by tradition, the tradition becomes the superior authority.
In the preface to his book, Scalise states that he was guided into his critical views of the Bible during studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and at Tubingen in Germany. He has also studied at Princeton University, Yale Divinity School, and the University of Oxford.
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Sharing Policy: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our expensive literature and foreign church planting ministries. Way of Life's content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, O Timothy magazine, FBIS articles, and the free eVideos and free eBooks. You are welcome to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family. You may also post parts of reports and/or entire reports to websites, blogs, etc as long as you give proper credit (citation). A link to the original report is very much appreciated as the reports are frequently updated and/or expanded. Things we do not want copied and distributed are "Store" items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print editions of our books, electronic editions of the books that we sell, the videos that we sell, etc. The items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we use the income from sales to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy. "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Timothy 5:18). Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
Offering: We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications. We seek offerings only from those who are helped. OFFERINGS can be mailed or made online with with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal. For information see: www.wayoflife.org/about/makeanoffering.html.
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials