From its birth in 1947, Fuller Seminary has leaned left and it is a fact that a person or organization always falls the way it leans. Fuller is falling even though it appears to be successful, strong, scholarly, oh, yes, scholarly. That was one of the reasons their founders broke with Fundamentalists in the 1940s and 50s. They accused Fundamentalists of being unsophisticated, uneducated, and unkind, especially in their desire to obey scriptural commands.
Fuller boasts over 4,500 students from over 67 countries and 108 denominations so their loosy-goosey theological, political, and social positions are understandable as well as untenable and unscriptural.
The Evangelicals who founded the school did not like the Fundamentalists’ doctrine of separation, especially ecclesiastical separation. They did not agree with the Apostle Paul’s command to “come out from among them” because they wanted to stay in their denominations and maintain their perks, power, and positions. After all, they reasoned, one can carry personal and doctrinal purity just so far. They also did not want to pay the price of being shunned, slandered, and sacked by their churches. Many religious leaders had moved up in this world and enjoyed the “good life.” So they had to be careful, you know. One must be practical.
They said that they would remain in corrupt denominations and fight; well, they stayed in but they refused to fight. New Evangelicals are lovers not fighters and they don’t understand that true lovers love truth enough to fight for it. Most Evangelical leaders will not fight unbelief and corruption but they gladly fight Fundamentalists!
Another reason for breaking with Fundamentalists was the perceived need for social involvement. Most people would think that the debacle of the 1920s and 1930s with the infiltration of the social gospel into mainline churches would be enough evidence to make anyone eschew such unscriptural folly.
Most Evangelical leaders cannot or will not delineate between an individual Christian’s responsibility to society and a church’s responsibility. Therefore, modern Evangelicals are in hot pursuit of the social gospel as seen in many of the megachurches and emergent churches which are often led by playboy preachers in faded blue jeans, tee shirts, spiked hair, and gold chains. Usually with a BMW or Mercedes parked out front. And the television charlatan tools around town in a Rolls Royce!
The third leg to the Evangelical stool is their desire for a passionate love affair with theological liberals. So there was an understanding between them: unbelieving liberal preachers would overlook the unfortunate culture of these erstwhile Fundamentalists and these Fundamentalists would overlook the radical unbelief of the liberal clergy–people who were no more Christian than an emaciated alley cat. In fact, at least the cat was not a hypocrite, professing to believe the truth while all the time hating it. As one Evangelical confessed to this understanding between New Evangelicals and Leftist Liberals: we will call you “brother” if you will call us “scholar.” So they climbed into bed with each other and it is a sorry, sordid, sinful affair. And it is an affair.
All the above always results from a weak view of Scripture. From their beginning, the New Evangelicals, Christianity Today, and Fuller Seminary were weak on inerrancy. Inerrancy means there are no errors in the Bible while infallible means that errors are impossible. Harold Lindsell declared in The Battle for the Bible that “The very nature of inspiration renders the Bible infallible, which means that it cannot deceive us. It is inerrant in that it is not false, mistaken, or defective.” Lindsell presciently suggested in 1976 that caving on the doctrine of the inerrancy was “the thread that would unravel the church.” He was right on target as we watch this take place daily.
The ordained weasels among us have twisted inerrancy to mean that everything in the Bible is to be taken literally but even a fool knows that there are many metaphors, similes, and hyperboles in the Scripture. Proper hermeneutics will take care of that. No, inerrancy simply means, “without error.” As the Belgic Confession states, with the canonical books “there can be no quarrel at all.” The Bible is simply, “true.”
Billy Graham gave this heresy impetus when he declared in 1986, “I personally never use the word ‘inerrancy.’ I almost wish the word had never been used. I don’t think its [sic] a necessary word.” What a tragedy, but then Graham has gone through life having dinner with radical unbelievers and Evangelicals and throwing Fundamentalists a few crumbs now and then. During his meetings they have been relegated to sit in the back of the auditorium, metaphorically speaking.
Those Christians interested in obeying the Bible refused to “hook up” with the unbelieving crowd for any reason. I gladly associate with that principled crowd!
Copyright 2013, Don Boys, Ph.D.
Fact, Fraud or Faith?
by Don Boys, Ph.D.
Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.