Thursday, March 08, 2007

Protestantism: Developmental and Conceptual Errors

Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899): Protestant evangelist













Example No. 1: (3:156)

Number of book in Bibliography (#3) followed by the page number of the citation.

Example No. 2: (18)

Number of reference not found in Bibliography. Information on source and page number in Footnotes (number 18 in the Footnotes).

Example No. 3: (50:100/4)

Number of book in Bibliography followed by the page number, plus an additional source (usually primary), listed in the Footnotes. The Footnotes (#4) will give the specific section and page numbers from the second source. This format is usually used when directly quoting Protestants such as Luther or Calvin, or the Church Fathers.

Example No. 4: (51:v.4;458)

Number of book in Bibliography followed by the volume number (when the work is more than one volume), and the page number. An additional source may also be cited after a slash, as in Example No. 3.

Example No. 5: (170:vs)

Used only when a passage from a Bible translation other than KJV is cited. The "vs" stands for verse, (which can be found, of course, without a page number), in order to distinguish the reference number from a plain footnote citation (as in Example No. 2).

{ "(P)" after author's name indicates that the writer is a Protestant }


1. Richard John Neuhaus (P), a recent convert from Lutheranism, quoted Pope Pius XII (r. 1939-58) on the historical results of the Protestant Revolt:

    'The reason why the principles of morality in general have long since been set aside in Europe is the defection of so many minds from Christian doctrine of which Blessed Peter's See is the appointed guardian and teacher.' . . .The civilized world had been 'welded together' by that doctrine, and then, with the Reformation, it all started falling apart. 'When many of the Christian family separated themselves from the infallible teaching of the church,' it opened the way to the secular Enlightenment, to pagan nationalism, to reductive scientism, and to 'the general deterioration and decline of the religious idea.' Thus men had been 'handing themselves over to a capricious ruler, the feeble and grovelling wisdom of man. They boasted of progress, when they were in fact relapsing into decadence . . . they claimed that this century of ours was bringing maturity and completion with it, when they were being reduced to a pitiable form of slavery.' (41:3-4)
2. Louis Bouyer, another convert to Catholicism from Lutheranism, has developed a theory of Protestant evolution which has astonishing insight:
    From the moment of their creation, the Protestant Churches were merely the works of man. In so far as they manage to attain any authority at all, it is always the authority of a man, either of a founder or organiser or of a simple minister, and, if that fails, they break up into fragments, to the sole profit of the authority of each individual, his private views, tendencies or experiences . . .

    Three different possibilities were open to Protestant organisations, once the rupture with the Church of tradition was accomplished. Either, as with the Anabaptists at first, or later with the Quakers, the rejection of all visible authority, resulting in an absolute, anarchical individualism; or else, as in the Lutheran reaction, the handing over to the civil authority of the organisation and direction of the Church; or, as in Calvinism and the sects following and opposed to it, the artificial construction of a new Church, created in all its elements by the genius (or fantasy) of an individual . . . In the three cases, the result was the same; in the place of divine authority in the Church Protestantism set up purely human ones, with the inevitable consequence of an enslavement of man to man . . .

    The final result is that the Protestant who seeks, in his Church, food for his faith finds it only in the form of a total subjection to all the peculiarities, the momentary idiosyncrasies, of his minister's personal devotion . . .

    A person who makes his own ego the ultimate norm of his religious beliefs and practice can obviously not feel at ease in a Church that holds to any objective criterion. The Church, however, that he himself founds will soon become far more oppressive for other people, being based on his particular brand of subjectivism. This is the reason for the ceaseless multiplication of Protestant sects which, once started, gathers speed . . .

    In general, the Protestants most hostile to dogma, to any objective truth of tradition, while decrying more than anyone the intolerance of the Catholic Church, are often themselves the most intolerant of all. (53:260,253,258,208-9)


1. 1 Corinthians 1:10

    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (see also 1 Cor 3:3)
2. John 17:20-23 (Phillips)
    I am not praying only for these men but for all those who will believe in me through their message, that they may all be one . . . I have given them the honour that you gave me, that they may be one, as we are one - I in them and you in me, that they may grow complete into one, so that the world may realise that you sent me and have loved them as you loved me. (173:vs)
3. Louis Bouyer speaks of the inherent individualism of Protestantism:
    The Reformers, though desirous of accentuating the divine, transcendent, aspect of Christianity, promoted more than anyone else the development of humanism and, in particular, the religious individualism of modern times. (53:123)
4. Thomas Howard (P), now a Catholic, recalled his own "pert" individualism and "Bible-only" outlook, in a book written before he converted:
    Evangelicalism, encouraging a spirit of individual responsibility before the Bible, had made it possible for me to discount centuries of Christian practice . . . The notion of 'sola scriptura' fostered a pert attitude in me. I took my cues from my own Bible reading; there was no such thing as 'the wisdom of the Church.' It did not matter that this divine Word had been read and pondered by sage and holy men and women for two thousand years before my arrival . . . The Bible does not exist in a vacuum . . . It was as though the Church had never really existed. It was as though the Bible had been written yesterday and I were the first man to open it. (64:67)
5. Christopher Dawson, the brilliant Catholic historian of culture, gives his opinion on the tragic outcome of Protestant individualism:
    During the last century or two . . . religion was . . . pushed out of social life and increasingly treated as a private affair that only concerned the individual conscience. Whereas in the past religion had occupied the center stage of world history . . . now it had withdrawn into private life and had left the stage of history to the representatives of the new political and economic forces.

    This progressive extrusion of Christianity from culture is the price that Christendom has had to pay for its loss of unity - it is part of what Richard Niebuhr has called 'the Ethical Failure of the Divided Church.' The tragedy of schism is that it is a progressive evil. Schism breeds schism, until . . . no common Christian culture is conceivable. (49:8)

6. W.T. Jones (P?), author of a four-volume history of philosophy, concurs:
    Luther's commitment to the primacy of conscience was an expression of one of the basic motifs of the new world that was dawning - individualism. From this point on, emphasis . . . was to be on what is subjective and private - on the dictates of the individual conscience . . . the flow of subjective feeling. This has . . . created some of the fundamental problems of modern society - how to balance the need for order, discipline, and obedience against the value of freedom and spontaneity . . . The outcome of Protestantism, it would seem, is not only as many priests, but as many truths, as there are believers. Thus the great strength of Protestantism is also its great weakness. (1)
7. James Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore decries this state of affairs:
    The various Protestant denominations differ from one another not only in minor details, but in most essential principles of faith . . . The multiplicity of sects in this country, with their mutual recriminations, is the scandal of Christianity, and the greatest obstacle to the conversion of the heathen . . .

    No one can deny that these divisions in the Christian family are traceable to the assumption of the right of private judgment. Every new-fledged divine, with a superficial education, imagines that he has received a call from heaven to inaugurate a new religion . . . And every one . . . appeals to the unchanging Bible in support of his ever-changing doctrines. (10:7,71)

8. Paul Whitcomb, a former Protestant pastor, gives typical examples of doctrinal differences among Protestants:
    One . . .held the independent view that altar and liturgy have no place in Christian worship. Another . . . that the sacraments should be withheld from infants and small children. Another . . . that man becomes impervious to sin and assured of salvation once he accepts Christ as his personal Saviour . . . Another . . . that Saturday, not Sunday, is the Lord's Day. Another held . . . that the powers of church administration reside not with the clergy but with the laity of the local congregation.

    Yes, here . . . was a genuine, concerted love and longing for Christ . . . But here also was division, division in the most explicit and flagrant sense of the word. Here, unquestionably, was a concept of Christ's mystical Body on earth which could not possibly be consonant with the one spirit, one faith, one shepherd concept described in the Bible. (2)

9. John Stoddard, another convert, echoes the above sentiments:
    American Protestantism . . . certainly does not correspond to the one, Apostolic, undivided Church which Jesus founded, and for the unity of which He prayed so tenderly . . .

    Many Protestants, of course, see the absurdity of such sectarianism, and deeply lament it; but many do not . . .

    If the quantity of these Protestant divisions is unedifying, still more so is the quality of some of them . . . (92:116-18)

Protestant observers are no less distressed:

10. H. Richard Niebuhr (P)

    Denominationalism . . . is such an unacknowledged hypocrisy. It is a compromise, made far too lightly, between Christianity and the world . . . It represents the accomodation of Christianity to the caste-system of human society . . . The division of the churches closely follows the division of men into the castes of national, racial, and economic groups . . .

    The domination of class and self-preservative church ethics over the ethics of the gospel must be held responsible for much of the moral ineffectiveness of Christianity in the West. (3)

11. Carl F.H. Henry (P)
    By failing to transcend their isolation and independency, evangelical Christians have virtually forfeited a golden opportunity to shape the religious outlook of the 20th century. (4)
12. Donald Bloesch (P)
    There is ample reason to believe that the growing dissension in evangelical ranks has a theological as well as a sociological or cultural basis . . . Old divisions in the evangelical family are reappearing . . . New divisions are beginning to appear . . .

    In my view, there will never be real evangelical unity, let alone Christian unity, until there is an awakening to the reality of the oneness and catholicity of the church . . . The growing worldliness of the church today perhaps accounts for the fact that so little progress toward church unity is being made. (5)

13. Anarchism and Relativism

It's difficult to deny at this point that the above data boils down to two things: anarchism (the organizational aspect), and relativism (the theological/philosophical aspect). To assert that truth can be found in matters theological only on the most basic of doctrines is to negate the inherent truthfulness of much of Christianity, and its self-attesting power, not to mention Jesus' promise that the "Spirit would lead us into all truth." The anarchy and absurd diversity of viewpoints which has always prevailed within Protestantism cannot be rationalized away, and must be acknowledged to be a serious flaw, both morally and epistemologically. At some point, the Protestant who faces up to this must question - to some extent anyway -, the system which produced such confusion.


1. Karl Adam

    The special characteristic of Protestantism is isolation, abrupt separation and schism, not only in the sphere of Church government, but in that of religion generally. Protestantism separates reason from faith, justification from sanctification, religion from morality, nature from supernature, and so it introduces a cleavage into the domain of God's loving and gracious activity. (1:115)
2. Thomas Howard (P)
    In the storm and stress of reform, a division had entered once again. Faith was pitted against works. The Word was pitted against Sacrament. Inner devotion was pitted against enactment. Even the Bible was pitted against the Church. 'Sola Scriptura' rang out, as though the Incarnation were a footnote to revelation and the Church itself an afterthought. The interior was pitted against the exterior . . . The new piety seemed to forget that revelation and redemption had not come to us only in a book. (64:83-4)

    For evangelicals, there seemed to be 'the world,' which meant almost everything that makes up human life, and there was 'the spiritual life.' . . . The net effect was to plant in our imaginations the notion that spirituality was more a matter of excision than of transfiguration . . . . .

    'Christian truth' should be kept unbodied, I believed. It was for my heart, not my eyes . . . By avoiding the dangers of magic and idolatry on the one hand, evangelicalism runs itself very near the shoals of Manichaeanism (6) on the other - the view, that is, that pits the spiritual against the physical. (64:34-5)

3. Henri de Lubac
    Protestantism, whether . . . orthodox or liberal, generally occurs as a religion of antitheses . . . Either rites or morals, authority or liberty, faith or works, nature or grace, prayer or sacrifice, Bible or pope, Christ the Saviour or Christ the judge, sacraments or the religion of the spirit . . . but Catholicism does not accept these dichotomies. (9:169)
4. Fr. John A. Hardon shows how Catholicism overcomes these tendencies:
    Part of the genius of the Catholic Church . . . is her ability to maintain a careful balance between extremes. Instead of taking one side of a radical 'either, or,' she remains faithful to God's eternal 'and,' which spans both sides of what the natural man is inclined to call a contradiction but which the spiritual man knows is simply a mirror of divine mystery . . .

    The head of the Church . . . is not either Christ or the Pope, but Jesus Christ is her invisible head and the Pope is Christ's vicar on earth. Man's hope of salvation does not depend on either grace or free will, but on divine grace, which envelops every human action and man's free co-operation with the invitation of God. The sacraments we receive are not either pure symbols or sources of God's grace, but they are symbolic rituals and causes of divine blessings which they signify. (14:24)

5. Louis Bouyer has perhaps identified the root cause of this flaw in Protestant thought:
    All the 'heresies' Protestantism may have fostered . . . appear already to be taking shape in the nominalist thinkers before the Reformation. Whether we take the theory of extrinsic justification, or the completely subjectivist view of faith . . . or a conception of the Word of God that . . . opposes it to any ecclesiastical institution . . . - none of this is a Protestant innovation . . .

    In such a system, God is only God in so far as he is beyond the true and the false, good and evil. Truth, falsehood, good, evil, are no more than hypotheses he has actually adopted; there is no reason why he should not have taken them in the contrary sense . . .

    The negative, 'heretical' aspect of the Reformation . . . appears simply as a survival, within Protestantism, of what was most vitiated and corrupt in the Catholic thought of the close of the Middle Ages . . . nominalist theology, quite uncritically retained and applied by all the 'orthodox' Protestant thinkers. (53:196-8)

6. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (P), defines nominalism:
    The theory of knowledge which denies reality to universal concepts . . . in the 14th century . . . usually associated with William of Occam. He asserted that the universal is not found at all in reality, but only in the human mind . . . for every substance is radically individual . . . Nor can reason demonstrate that the First Cause of the existing universe is the one God. Thus Nominalism in its theological consequences withdrew almost all the data of faith from the realm of reason and paved the way for the disintegration of Scholasticism. (78:978-9)
7. Martin Luther (Hartmann Grisar)

Luther swallowed these ideas hook, line, and sinker. Hartmann Grisar, author of a six-volume biography of Luther, states:

    He places Occam in point of learning far above Thomas Aquinas, the 'so-called Doctor of Doctors,' whom he despised . . . Luther came ruthlessly to condemn all the Schoolmen and the whole Middle Ages ostensibly on the ground of the pretended poisoning of the faith by Aristotle, but really because he himself had set up a contradiction between faith and reason . . . . .

    He committed . . . the indefensible injustice of blindly charging Scholasticism and theology generally with what he found faulty in his own narrow circle, though these errors had been avoided by St. Thomas and the best of the Schoolmen. (51;v.1:131,137-8)

Luther's opinion of reason (and that of classical Protestantism in general), and its supposed opposition to faith is still widespread, especially among Protestant laymen, whether liberal or evangelical, the former due to modern man's rejection of reason, and the latter as a result of the legacy of the "Reformation." Thankfully, however, the prevailing school of evangelical apologetics today hearkens back to the Catholic Thomist tradition which Luther rejected (8).

The (orthodox) Reformed and Presbyterian churches, on the other hand, today follow more closely Luther and Calvin on this score. For example, Cornelius Van Til, the acknowledged leader of what is known as "presuppositional apologetics," claims:

    Unless one accept the Bible for what true Protestantism says it is . . . it will be impossible to find meaning in anything . . . Epistemologically the believer and the non-believer have nothing in common . . . (9)
9. Protestant "Negativism"

Protestantism, from its outset, was "negativist" by nature, particularly in its almost-given derision of and rejection of Catholicism - except for those parts of it which it necessarily and inconsistently retains.

A. Louis Bouyer analyzes this tendency as follows:

    From the very first . . . Protestant enunciations were made in reaction against Catholicism, against certain of its degenerate forms in the 16th century, but . . . very soon became hostile to Catholicism in its essence . . .

    The sovereignty of God comes to mean the crushing down of man . . . If we turn to the doctrine of the supreme authority of Scripture, we notice, at the very outset of Protestantism, the tendency to equate it with an absolute denial of the authority of the Church . . .

    The New Testament and the whole of Christian antiquity . . . not only do not support, but seem to reject, more or less clearly, all the negations that have been mixed up with them. (53:170,172,174)

B. The Demonization of Catholicism and Resulting Difficulties

For all the Protestant Founders, anti-Catholicism (in its most emotional and vitriolic sense) was almost logically necessary. For if they acknowledged Catholicism as Christian (or fully Christian, as the case may be), then the idea of breaking away from the universal Christian Church would have been ridiculous and unthinkable. Therefore, the Catholic Church had to be demonized - called "Antichrist," "whore of Babylon," etc. (the widespread corruption of that time did not help the Church to counter these images). This "solution," though, was fraught with its own problems, for Church history is difficult to square with the Protestant conception of things.

The monumental difficulty left for Protestantism to grapple with was, "Where was the Church for 1500 years?," or (for those with a less radical view of history), "When did the true Church defect from truth?" Many Protestants, past and present, felt compelled to identify with bizarre (to greater and lesser degrees) heretical sects such as the Montanists, Albigensians, Waldenses, Hussites, or Wycliffites in order to preserve some semblance of an organized body of Christians (er, Protestants) through the centuries, i.e., a "church." But a close scrutiny of the nature and scope of these sects quickly make farcical the assertion that they were proto-Protestants.

Likewise, if there was a defection or apostasy of the Catholic Church, this would have been an event of such magnitude and immensity that it would put a lie to Jesus' promise that "the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church." The rationalization and evasion of an "invisible church" will simply not square with Scripture. When all is said and done in this regard, Protestantism is left with an irresolvable dilemma. The course it usually takes is ecclesiological "invisibility" and a vague and misty legend of the institutional Church having died either during the time of Constantine (early 4th century) or the Crusades and Inquisition (Middle Ages).

The average Protestant layman, meanwhile, knows very little Church history, and doesn't seem to care to know, thinking it entirely irrelevant. The fact that most Protestants have not thought these issues through and sincerely believe that they are isolated from the "history of the Holy Spirit's working with men," so to speak, does not lessen their responsibility to at least acknowledge the obvious.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, need not thrive on opposition to another belief system, leaving it free to war against the world, the flesh and the devil. It has a coherent and consistent view of its own history and development and labors under no burden of dichotomy and illogic as does Protestantism. The Catholic Church, as noted above, strives to synthesize what it considers to be complementary notions, not contradictory ones, as Protestantism believes. The latter confuses these two categories from formal logic, as if there were no such thing as diverse yet complementary ideas.


1. Peter Berger (P), the eminent Lutheran sociologist, who specializes in the sociology of religion, discusses with great insight the crucial role which Protestantism played in the development of the radical secularization with which all serious Christians are plagued today, and from which society at large reels and staggers in moral turpitude:

    Protestantism may be described in terms of an immense shrinkage in the scope of the sacred in reality . . . The sacramental apparatus is reduced to a minimum and, even there, divested of its more numinous qualities. The miracle of the mass disappears altogether . . . Protestantism ceased praying for the dead . . . [and] divested itself as much as possible from the three most ancient and most powerful concomitants of the sacred - mystery, miracle, and magic . . . The Protestant believer no longer lives in a world ongoingly penetrated by sacred beings and forces. Reality is polarized between a radically transcendent divinity and a radically 'fallen' humanity that, 'ipso facto,' is devoid of sacred qualities . . .

    The Catholic lives in a world in which the sacred is mediated to him through a variety of channels - the sacraments . . . intercession of the saints . . . a vast continuity of being between the seen and the unseen. Protestantism abolished most of these mediations. It broke the continuity, cut the umbilical cord between heaven and earth, and thereby threw man back upon himself in a historically unprecedented manner . . . It narrowed man's relationship to the sacred to the one . . . channel that it called God's word . . . - the 'sola gratia' of the Lutheran confessions . . . It needed only the cutting of this one narrow channel of mediation, though, to open the floodgates of secularization . . .

    It may be maintained, then, that Protestantism served as a historically decisive prelude to secularization, whatever may have been the importance of other factors . . . This interpretation . . . is accepted . . . probably today by a majority of scholarly opinion . . .

    The Protestant Reformation . . . may then be understood as a powerful reemergence of precisely those secularizing forces that had been 'contained' by Catholicism . . . The question, 'Why in the modern West?' asked with respect to the phenomenon of secularization, must be answered at least in part by looking at its roots in the religious tradition of the modern West. (10)

2. Christopher Dawson
    It is difficult to exaggerate the harm that was inflicted on Christian culture by the century of religious strife that followed the Reformation . . . It was during this century of sterile and inconclusive religious conflict that the ground was prepared for the secularization of European culture. The convinced secularists were an infinitesimal minority of the European population, but they had no need to be strong since the Christians did their work for them . . .

    It is impossible to ignore this dark and tragic side of religious history; for if we do not face it, we cannot understand the inevitable character of the movement of secularization . . .

    The immediate cause of the secularization of European culture was the frustration and discouragement resulting from a century of religious wars, and above all from the inconclusiveness of their end. After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the necessity for the co-existence of Catholics and Protestants in Europe became generally recognized, and since men still valued their common culture they were forced to emphasize those elements which were common to Catholics and Protestants, i.e., its secular aspects . . .

    The merchant class in Holland and England and the lawyers and officials in France gradually took the place of the nobility as the real leaders of culture . . . They were apt to be critical of authority and naturally tended to adopt a sectarian type of religion - Puritans and Nonconformists in England, and Huguenots in France. Theirs was among the strongest influences making for the secularization of culture, as so many writers have argued . . . They regarded religion as a private matter which concerned the conscience of the individual only, whereas public life was essentially business life; a sphere in which the profit motive was supreme and a man's moral and religious duties were best fulfilled by the punctual and industrious performance of his professional activities. (49:9-11,253-5)

    The chief cause of the secularization of Western culture was the loss of Christian unity . . . The mere fact of this loss of unity created a neutral territory which gradually expanded till it came to include almost the whole of social life . . . When once men had admitted the principle that a heretic could be a good citizen (and even that an infidel could be a good man of business), they inevitably tended to regard this common ground of practical action as the real world, and the exclusive sphere of religion as a private world, whether of personal faith or merely private opinion . . .

    In this way there arose the new liberal humanitarian culture which represents an intermediate stage between the religious unity of Christendom and a totally secularized world. (11)

3. The Tragic Consequences of the Loss of Unity

Notwithstanding the scandalous and widespread moral abuses among many Catholics prior to 1517, at least Catholicism understood the crucial importance of a unified Christianity, and repeatedly affirmed the same in its confrontations with Luther. The synthesizing and unitive outlook inherent in the Catholic worldview assured this stance beforehand. Protestantism, however, due to its dichotomous nature, did not exercise the critical and prudential acumen, or forethought, to realize the devastating impact of the division which was inevitable early on. Luther's utter intransigence and soon-to-be-asserted claims to complete infallibility (even when his views were entirely novel) guaranteed the enduring schism.

Again, because dichotomy played such an important role in Protestant thought (its inheritance from nominalism), this propensity immediately asserted itself in all the false antitheses with which we have become familiar:

      Bible vs. Tradition,
      Conscience vs. Church Authority,
      Individual vs. Community,
      Subjective Experience vs. Objective Reason,
      Grace vs. Nature (i.e., the Physical),
      Faith vs. Works,
      Mere Verbal Proclamation of "Salvation" vs. Discipleship,
      Jesus as Savior vs. Jesus as Lord,
      Priesthood vs. Laity,
      Worship of God vs. Veneration of Saints,
      Old Testament vs. New Testament,
      Law vs. Grace,
      Gospels vs. Epistles,
      Matter vs. Spirit,
      Formal vs. Informal Worship,
and on and on. It was but a small step to add to all these the non-biblical and suspicious concept of churches vs. Church. Thus it might be held that the very division in Christendom itself flowed from deficiencies inherent in Protestant thought. The resultant consequences of secularization in culture and society, which we see all around us today were fostered and, I think, spawned by the virulent derision of Catholicism and intolerance of all the Protestant Founders. The dismemberment of the Body of Christ could not have produced any other "fruit", and the culture which had been built up from a unified Christianity has been progressively fragmented ever since, until it is only a tiny vestige of its former glory.


1. Louis Bouyer

Bouyer continues his remarkable analysis of Protestant historical pathways in his chapter, "The Decay of the Positive Principles of the Reformation":

    What the Reformation took over from the Middle Ages was just what it should have criticised and rejected; in fact, it led the positive principles the Reformers had brought to light to assume a negative and polemical aspect. This was the origin of the heresy and schism which Protestantism was fated to become.

    This unhappy association of the great religious affirmations of the Reformation with the disastrous 'a priori' principles of nominalism not only led Protestants to a one-sided development of their own insights to the neglect of the complementary aspects of Christian truth; it ended by strangling in Protestantism itself its own finest principles . . .

    Lucien Febvre, in his very original essay on Luther (12), has clearly set forth the personal drama of the Reformer who saw, in his own lifetime, the principles he wished to reinstate opposed and hindered by the very structure his protest had created. But M. Febvre does not bring out sufficiently that it was Luther himself, and not only the stupidity of his followers, who provided all the elements of the system which was to imprison, rather than protect, the original doctrine.

    Two phases may be distinguished in the gradual suffocation of the positive principles of the Reformation . . . In the first phase . . . the system, by its own weight, stifled the views it claimed to serve. In the second phase . . . the most remarkable example being the 'liberalism' of the 19th century, the desire to reject that crushing weight led to the rejection of the views so imprudently attached to it. In this way, Protestantism, by a very logical process, has paradoxically come to carry to an extreme all the errors it had begun by attacking . . .

    Melanchthon had already observed with disquiet that the preaching of salvation by faith alone, as an abstract truth, led only too easily to a general condoning of the indulgence of animal instincts, freed from all restraint. Later on, what strikes us more is the withdrawal of religion from contact with ordinary life . . . the pursuit of private interests without regard to anything higher.

    Extrinsic justification, devised originally to assure the absolute domination of grace, came to prohibit it from giving any sign of its presence; so it excluded God from both the public and private life of man, and made even the interior life a sphere closed to his intervention.

    . . . Pietism, in spite of excellent intentions, culminated in a moralism and a religion of experiences, largely sentimental, which slowly degenerated into the 'natural religion' of the 18th century, at the furthest possible remove from the 'sola gratia' of Luther. This evolution towards a conception of the Christian life in which what are called 'good feelings' is the essence, if not the whole, was bound to happen, once the mind was conditioned to confuse the religion of grace with one where man had nothing to perform . . .

    The semi-Pelagian, or Pelagian, or even purely 'naturalist', tendency to overlook grace in favour of some 'inner light' . . . arises from the disastrous equating of grace with extrinsicism, of religion as a pure gift of God . . .

    We have a fact constantly present in the history of Protestantism. 'Neo-lutheranisms' and 'neo-calvinisms' regularly, and very promptly, usher in a counter-offensive of 'neo-liberalisms' and 'neo-rationalisms', or 'neo-naturalisms', more bitter and negative than ever . . .If 'orthodox' Protestants regularly beget 'liberal' Protestants, the 'neoorthodox', whom liberals engender in their turn, only bring forth atheists, who view no longer with hate, but merely with scorn, any religion claiming to be transcendent . . .

    The sort of dialectical intoxication in which a man may revert to and refine upon the preaching of a grace which saves the sinner without changing him in the least, a faith which depends on nothing outside itself, a God who can only be acknowledged as Creator by the annihilation of his creatures . . . lasts only for a time . . . (53:201-5,212)

2. John Henry Cardinal Newman reiterates Bouyer's contentions in his commentary on the history of Lutheranism:
    Luther started on a double basis, his dogmatic principle being contradicted by his right of private judgment, and his sacramental by his theory of justification . . . On his death . . . the dogmatic gained the ascendancy . . . Next a reaction took place; private judgment was restored to the supremacy . . . Pietism for the time died away; but rationalism developed . . . A sort of philosophical Pietism followed . . .

    The equable and orderly march and natural succession of views, by which the creed of Luther has been changed into the infidel or heretical philosophy of his present representatives, is a proof that that change is no perversion or corruption, but a faithful development of the original idea. (43:192-4)

3. Adolf von Harnack (P), the liberal Protestant scholar, assuming momentarily the role of an "orthodox" Protestant, observes:
    From this point of view the whole development of Protestantism from the end of the 17th century till the present day must necessarily appear a mistaken development, nay, an apostasy. It is a pity, only, that almost all thinking Protestants have apostasized, and, for the most part, differ from each other only according to the clearness and honesty with which they admit their apostasy. (13)
4. G.K. Chesterton, the great writer and convert, identifies the leading characteristics of the liberal theological mindset:
    These people merely take the modern mood, with much in it that is amiable and much that is anarchical and much that is merely dull and obvious, and then require any creed to be cut down to fit that mood. (59:95)
5. Os Guinness (P), an evangelical, in his fantastic book The Gravedigger File (14), writes in a fashion similar to C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters, in which demons plot together how to undermine Christians and Christianity. In his chapter on religious liberalism, "Trendies and Traitors," Guinness probes the tragi-comic shortcomings of "liberal Christianity," which has, all too often, typified Protestantism, and inevitably so, if the above hypotheses are correct:
    Instead of 'being all things to all people' in order to 'win them to Christ,' modern Christians tend to become all things to all people - and then stay there and move in with them . . . At the outset, nothing may be further from the liberal's mind than compromise, but like the Chinese journey of a thousand miles, the liberal road to compromise must begin somewhere. This step is taken when some aspect of modern life or thought is entertained as not only significant . . . but superior to what Christians now know or do, and therefore worth assuming as true. All we need do then is circulate the judgment with a growing chorus of conviction ('Today it is no longer possible to believe x, y or z . . .'), and it will soon seem self-evident and unquestionable . . .

    Only rarely does this happen consciously or deliberately. Most people do it without realizing it. This lack of consciousness is how we can take theological conservatives and turn them into cultural liberals, and how we can move theological liberals toward heresy.

6. Ronald Sider (P), an orthodox evangelical who could be described as "liberal/ left" on the socio-political scale, thinks that evangelicals may trod the same primrose path:
    To a tragic degree, we evangelicals fail to obey the Scriptures we so proudly claim to believe . . . We are in increasing danger of wholesale accommodation to fundamentally unbiblical values in the larger society as our popularity increases . . . I fear that evangelicals may succumb to theological liberalism . . . The essence of theological liberalism is allowing our thinking and acting to be shaped by surrounding society rather than biblical revelation. That is precisely what current evangelical success tempts us to do. (15)
7. The Evolution of "Orthodox" Protestantism Into Heresy

As a quintessential example of the strange evolution of "orthodox" Protestantism into hostile and opposite belief systems, we shall look at the striking history of Calvinism mutating into Unitarianism:

A. Christopher Dawson

    The Puritans who founded the Churches of New England were the Founding Fathers of American Protestantism. But the decline of Puritanism in England after the Revolution was accompanied and followed by a similar weakening of Puritanism in America. Its last great representative, Jonathan Edwards, was already an anachronism, and his successors, like Samuel Hopkins, were conscious that the spiritual forces of New England Puritanism were becoming sterile and losing their hold on the mind of society, so that by the beginning of the l9th century, religion had ceased to be a living issue in the traditional strongholds of New England culture. In spite of Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening, the history of the native religious tradition in New England follows a very similar course to that of English Presbyterianism, by way of the Enlightenment, to Unitarianism and Liberalism. (49:233)
B. Martin Marty (P) {"Liberal" Lutheran historian}
    These great-grandsons of the Puritans still respected Jesus but did not favor doctrines that defined him as being uniquely divine . . . When in 1805 Henry Ware, an open Unitarian, became the Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard fell to the heretics. The Orthodox fought back in 1808 by founding a new seminary at Andover, but found that they could not rouse the relaxed lay people who kept drifting from Puritan ways. (16)
C. Perry Miller {Secular expert on Puritanism}
    The Puritan philosophy . . . remained a fairly rigid orthodoxy during the 17th century. In the next age, however, it proved to be anything but static; by the middle of the 18th Century there had proceeded from it two distinct schools of thought . . . Certain elements were carried into the creeds and practices of the evangelical religious revivals, but others were perpetuated by the rationalists and the forerunners of Unitarianism . . . Unitarianism is as much the child of Puritanism as Methodism . . . Descendants of the Puritans who revolted against what they considered the tyranny and cruelty of Puritan theology . . . substituted taste and reason for dogma and authority. (17)
D. The Inevitable Reaction Against False Theology

It was no coincidence that Unitarianism sprung up in New England, the very area where Calvinistic Puritanism dominated for 150 years or so. The false conception of God predestining men to hell collapsed under its own weight.

It is also interesting to note that many founders of religious Cults (which reject the Trinity and Christian doctrines of salvation and man), had Calvinistic backgrounds or family pedigree:

      Charles Taze Russell (Jehovah's Witnesses)
      Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science)
      Joseph Smith (Mormonism)
      Victor Paul Wierwille (The Way International)
Calvinism, therefore, as the most consistent and faithful theological proponent of the classical Protestant system, has not proven its staying power. Most Protestants, in reaction, have rejected the Protestant Founders' low conceptions of God and man, and have adopted free will, which was always the Catholic position.

We see, then, that Protestant sects which start out "orthodox" (holding to the historic doctrines of the original Protestants), inevitably "go liberal" or at least provoke disenchanted members to found heretical sects, for reasons which Bouyer and Newman think they have identified. Today's United Methodist Church is not the Methodism of founder John Wesley. Nor do the largest Lutheran and Presbyterian bodies correspond to the visions of Luther and Calvin (there are, however, it should be noted, small conservative groups within all these denominations).

Historic Anglicanism is diminishing too. For instance, bishops of the (American) Episcopal Church, in September, 1990, could barely pass (80-76) a Statement declaring the ordination of practicing homosexuals "inappropriate." Imagine a debate among so-called Christians on that! (18). As of 1982, virtually all Protestant "mainline" denominations (i.e., the liberals), espoused "freedom of choice" to kill one's preborn child, in some or (usually) all circumstances, according to a fact sheet of the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights, which quoted these groups' own statements and official declarations. This position is, of course, opposed to the Bible and all of orthodox Christian tradition.

As one final (and altogether typical) example of the absurd lengths religious liberalism will go, I cite some ads from The Nave, the student bulletin of Harvard Divinity School, America's oldest theological institution:

    For instance, one could have attended 'A Spring Equinox Ritual based on pre-Christian and present-day pagan celebrations honoring the Earth's renewal.' . . . 'Belly Dancing and Women's Spirituality: Learn to use muscles you never knew you had, wear exotic costumes, and enjoy moving . . . to sensual Middle Eastern rhythms' . . . 'It's a Baby! Kevin Cranston, visiting Lecturer on Ministry, and his lover, John Enos, proudly announce the birth of their daughter, Amber Enos Cranston, February 6.' We hope little Amber is not as confused as we are. (19)
It should go without saying that there are still many fine, orthodox Protestant groups and individuals, who hold, essentially, to the traditional Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. Orthodox believers can be found in virtually all denominations. Evangelicals would no doubt argue (validly) that most if not all of the foregoing does not apply to them, and that they find these permutations as repugnant as Catholics would. Nevertheless, these fatal tendencies stem from the very founding principles of the Protestant Revolt, and will continue to exert their force, especially if good, solid, "conservative" Christians are unaware of their inner dynamics. A certain cold, ruthless logic seems to universally prevail whereby all groups are ultimately true to, and follow their initial premises, oftentimes without conscious deliberation.


In the next three sections, we will consider whether evangelicalism, the healthiest, most orthodox, and respectable portion of Protestantism, is immune to disintegration or not. Prominent evangelical leaders have critiqued themselves quite strongly. Evangelicals will be exclusively quoted, with the exception of two excerpts.

1. Donald Bloesch (P), well-respected professor of theology at the University of Dubuque, has some hard words to say, quoting the renowned writer A.W. Tozer as well:

    Although evangelicalism constantly warns against the encroachment of worldliness, its accomodation to cultural norms and values is almost as noticeable as in liberalism . . . The fascination of a considerable segment of the evangelical community with worldly success and celebrities is nothing less than scandalous. A.W. Tozer laments that while Christ calls people to holiness, too many contemporary representatives of the oldtime religion

      call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness that would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoic philosophers (20).

    This prophet from the Christian and Missionary Alliance presents a rather bleak picture of modern evangelicalism :

      Evangelical Christianity is fast becoming the religion of the bourgeoisie. The well-to-do, the upper middle classes, the politically prominent, the celebrities, are accepting our religion by the thousands . . . to the uncontrollable glee of our religious leaders who seem completely blind to the fact that the vast majority of these new patrons of the Lord of glory have not altered their moral habits in the slightest nor given any evidence of true conversion that would have been accepted by the saintly fathers who built the churches. (21) (22)
2. Richard Halverson (P), Senate Chaplain, in a speech of April, 1988, lamented the "materialism that I believe now has really infected badly the whole evangelical community." (23)

3. Rodney Clapp (P), in the same article, entitled "Remonking the Church: Would a Protestant Form of Monasticism help Liberate Evangelicalism from its Cultural Captivity?," in the leading evangelical periodical, Christianity Today, charges:

    There is much talk against violence, sensuality, and materialism. Yet even the most casual observer can see that the evangelical church is 'infected badly' by all three.
In a sarcastic tone, he complains:
    If the church dislikes coarse 'worldly' celebrities, let it create its own celebrities. If it is cautious about the worldly mania for numbers (stocks sold on Wall Street), let it develop its own mania for numbers (souls saved by the megachurch). (24)
4. Donald A. Carson (P), professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, in another article in the same magazine, entitled, "Evangelical Megashift" (about foreseen changes coming in this theological milieu), acknowledges:
    Evangelicalism is undergoing a 'megashift' - indeed several. But . . . unless we are committed to bow before all that Scripture teaches and not merely our preferred 'subsets' of what it teaches, there is no hope for reformation. We will sell our evangelical birthright for a mess of populist porridge. (25)
5. Clark Pinnock (P), professor of Theology at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, agrees with Carson:
    Evangelicals are experiencing the dizzy ferment of theological change that they thought happened only to liberals. It is the price we pay for our success, I suppose. Once we move out of the ghetto into the limelight, the pressure to clarify our thought increases, as does the willingness . . . to reconsider traditional opinions. (26)
6. David Wells (P), professor of Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, gives his corroborating views:
    We . . . are reducing historical Protestant faith to a mass of diverse, conflicting 'models.' I cannot see it all surviving. That a sundering of the movement is coming seems utterly certain to me; the only question is when, how, and with what consequences. (27)
7. Franky Schaeffer (P), a moviemaker, artist and writer, who recently joined the Greek Orthodox Church, wrote scathingly before his conversion:
    Evangelicals must decide what sort of 'evangelicals' they wish to be . . . Take, for example, evangelical colleges, which 'open-mindedly' tolerate pro-abortion professors, totally unbalanced political science and economics courses . . . and highly secularized social sciences . . . The choice must be made and the lines drawn lest we slip into a new mire of cultural liberalism comparable to the old theological liberalism which overtook the Protestant denominations at the beginning of this century in America. Do we really want to be burned twice in the same century? (28)
8. Charles Colson (P), the widely-acclaimed author and founder of Prison Fellowship, concedes the cultural enslavement of evangelicalism:
    The church, broadly speaking, has succumbed to many of the culture's enticements . . . Much of the church is caught up in the success mania of American society. Often more concerned with budgets and building programs than with the body of Christ, the church places more emphasis on growth than on repentance. Suffering, sacrifice, and service have been preempted by success and self-fulfillment. One pastor confided to me, 'I try not to talk about subjects that make people uncomfortable. My job is to make sure they come back here week after week.' (29)
9. Jon Johnston (P), professor of Urban Ministry and Sociology of Religion at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, and a Church of the Nazarene minister, writes cogently in a work on this very subject:
    Evangelicals . . . are increasingly opting for godless cultural values. Our degree of compromise has reached epidemlc proportions . . .

    Popularity can prompt disastrous compromise. I firmly believe that compromise, or 'accomodation,' is the most formidable threat to evangelicalism today' . . . Evangelicalism is in serious danger of . . . becoming engulfed by the surrounding culture. (30)

10. Richard Quebedeaux (P), an evangelical sociologist of religion, adds to this litany:
    Evangelicals have become harder and harder to distinguish from other people. Upward social mobility has made the old revivalistic taboos dysfunctional. (31)

    The minute respectability and acceptability come from the wider society, secularism and corruption come in as well. The church then becomes just another worldly institution . . . I'm afraid that evangelicals, just like the liberals did, are going to eventually wind up in some sort of new morality. If we aren't different from the rest of the world, then why are we Christians? (32)

11. James Davison Hunter (P), professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, is one of the leading authorities on evangelicalism today, and is the author of American Evangelicalism (1983) and Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation (1987). Christianity Today described the latter's thesis as follows:
    Hunter argued . . . that contemporary evangelicalism is moving away from tenets of belief and practice long considered orthodox. (33)

    And, he writes, many younger believers are uncertain about difficult doctrinal questions, such as biblical inerrancy and the exclusivity of Christ as the only path to salvation. (34)

In an address on the same subject,
    Hunter identified the major combatants in the cultural war. Traditional Orthodoxy, he said, holds a transcendent view of moral authority, as expressed in Scripture, the Roman Catholic magisterium, the Torah. What Hunter called a 'progressive' view of authority, based on Enlightenment thinking, is grounded in human, rational discourse. Hunter contended that advocates of the new way of thinking are winning the war. While allowing that 'evangelicalism is the most vibrant form of religious expression,' he said there is no evidence to support the oft-stated assertion that the evangelical faith is in the midst of revival . . . Hunter . . . added, 'There is a very strong undercurrent of subjectivizing the gospel and the theological task.' (35)
12. Carl F.H. Henry (P), one of the figureheads and most brilliant theologians of post-World War II evangelicalism, at a conference on Hunter's book attended by 25 Christian scholars,
    . . . charged that Hunter's research 'points to noteworthy concessions' by the evangelical movement to the secular culture. He worries that 'even on some of the best evangelical college campuses,' some professors 'have taught that Jesus Christ is not the sole ground of human acceptance by God.' (36)
13. Francis A. Schaeffer (P) (1912-84), was perhaps the most influential evangelical of the last 25 years. In a book of ten essays by ten evangelical scholars on Schaeffer - which in itself indicates his importance - are found the following estimates of him:
    One of the great shapers of evangelicalism in the mid-20th century . . . catalytic role in the emergence of an intellectually aggressive evangelical church in the 1970s . . . One of the most powerful influences on the evangelical church. (37)

    Schaeffer . . . discerned better than most evangelical leaders the true proportions of the challenge that biblical Christianity faces in our time . . . A great Christian man . . . I have not known another like him to this day . . . A godly man, a man of prayer, who wept and pleaded, intellectually and passionately, that people should heed the message of God''s Kingdom . . . He cared about truth, and . . . could speak out boldly on issues that mattered. (38)

    Schaeffer was . . . an evangelical of importance to evangelicals . . . He became an opinion-maker, a consciousness-raiser, and a conscience-stirrer . . . Schaeffer . . . spoke frequently to prestigious gatherings in prestigious places, and was noticed outside evangelical circles as an evangelical leader . . . One of the truly great Christians of my time. (39)

Now that we have some idea of Schaeffer's stature, his devastating critique of the state of evangelicalism, which we will quote at length, assumes all the more importance and credibility. The following is from his last book, The Great Evangelical Disaster:
    The statement which I am making in the pages of this book is perhaps the most important statement I have ever written . . . the greatest problem we who are Christians face in our generation . . . Sufficient numbers of those under the name evangelical no longer hold to that which makes evangelicalism evangelical. (40)

    Have we as evangelicals been on the front lines contending for the faith and confronting the moral breakdown over the last 40 to 60 years? . . . Sadly, we must say that this has seldom happened . . . When it comes to the issues of the day the evangelical world most often has said nothing, or worse, has said nothing different from what the world would say. Here is the great evangelical disaster - the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth. There is only one word for this - namely accommodation . . . Many who call themselves evangelicals hold a weakened view of the Bible and no longer affirm the truth of all the Bible teaches . . . Many evangelicals now accept the higher critical methods in the study of the Bible . . . These same methods . . . destroyed the Bible for the liberal in our own country from the beginning of this century . . .

    We must say with tears that, with exceptions, the evangelical Church is worldly and not faithful to the living Christ . . . The Bible is made to say only that which echoes the surrounding culture at our moment of history . . . instead of . . . judging our society and culture. (41)

    Things are moving rapidly in the direction of what happened 50 years ago in the denominations . . . there is the growing acceptance of higher critical methods . . . of the neo-orthodox existential methodology . . . of humanistic ideas into both theology and practice. There is a growing acceptance of pluralism and accommodation . . . A large segment of the evangelical world has become seduced by the world spirit of this present age. (42)

    A significant and influential section of what is called evangelicalism has become infiltrated by . . . neo-orthodoxy (43) . . . Where this ends had already been demonstrated by the . . . 'God-is-dead' syndrome . . . Is it not curious that some evangelicals are just now picking this up as if it were the thing we should hold if we are to be 'with it' today? . . . In the new view of Scripture among evangelicals we find the same thing - namely, that the Bible is not objective truth . . .

    Today we find that the same view of Scripture which is held by the modern liberal theologian is being taught in seminaries which call themselves evangelical . . .

    By the end of the 1930s almost all the major Protestant denominations came under the control of those holding liberal theological views, and . . . now in the 1980s those denominations not dominated by liberal theology in the 1930s are in the same place of decision as the others were in the 1930s.

    If we do not have the courage to draw lines . . . then history will look back at this time as the time when certain 'evangelical colleges' went the way of Harvard and Yale, when certain 'evangelical seminaries' went the way of Union Seminary in New York, and the time when other 'evangelical organizations' were lost to Christ's cause. (44)


1. Pragmatism: A Definition

Pragmatism, according to the dictionary (45), is defined as follows:

    An American movement in philosophy founded by C.S. Peirce and William James and marked by the doctrines that the meaning of conceptions is to be sought in their practical bearings, that the function of thought is to guide action, and that truth is pre-eminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief.
2. A Distinctly American Philosophy

It's no surprise that pragmatism was an American phenomenon, since Americans are a notoriously "practical" people with a marked aversion to abstract ideas, metaphysics, and creeds. Some think this derives from the "frontier spirit," in which there was "much to be done" and little time for contemplation, or from Puritanism, with its emphasis on the practical virtues of thrift, industry, etc. Be that as it may, it is clear that this indigenous American philosophy has penetrated deeply into American Protestantism, with its unique flowering of diverse, numerous and sometimes flamboyant sects. Yet it is based on an obviously false premise, as evangelical apologist Norman Geisler points out:

3. Norman Geisler (P)

    On purely pragmatic grounds we might conclude that both theism and pantheism are true, since they seem to work for adherents of each world view in accordance with their aspirations. But both cannot be true because they are mutually exclusive ways of viewing ultimate reality . . . At best pragmatism manifests the application but not the justification of a world view. It indicates whether a view about reality really works when applied to life. But workability and truth are not identical. Some things work very well but are not right (e.g., cheating). Other things do not seem to work as well in the short run, and we cannot determine the long run (e.g., honesty) . . . Pragmatism is not a sufficient test for the truth of anything. (46)
We will first quote two Catholic sources before we cite evangelicals with regard to pragmatism's pervasive and popular penetration of Protestantism (a deliberate alliteration).

4. Louis Bouyer

    The section of Protestantism originally most tenacious of the divine sovereignty came to adopt a moralism which grew more and more explicit. It soon culminated in that religion of efficiency, of worldly success identified with the blessing of God, and ultimately in the almost complete pragmatism which constitutes the religion today of so many Americans . . . a strict application of the formula, 'Heaven helps those who help themselves' - a corruption, in fact the exact antithesis, of true Calvinism, though proceeding logically from its principles. For, on the assumption that man must be nothing so that God may be all, it is impossible to restore man to his right place without creating a 'humanism' . . . in which the tendency is for man to treat God as an equal . . .

    A strong trend may be discerned running through modern Protestantism, not merely to make use of Christianity to improve the conditions of life, to obtain or ensure the greatest happiness of the greatest number, but to justify God to man on the sole ground of utility . . . Instead of God being the sole end of the world and of man, man becomes the sole reason for God . . . Once the principle was laid down that the greatness of God supposed the nothingness of man, man could not be raised up again without God being proportionately lowered, and it belonged to the logic of the system that man should dream of domesticating God, so as to reach the fulness of his own development. (53:206-7)

5. Glenwood Davis, a former Baptist and Presbyterian pastor, now Catholic, tells of the importance of pragmatism in the evangelical world:
    The only real validation of my calling was that I got results when I preached. Getting results seemed to prove everything in my circle of associates . . . All of my inner conflicts . . . were dismissed conveniently as coming from the Devil, 'for after all,' I reasoned, 'I'm having a great deal of success winning souls for Jesus!' (47)
6. "The Electronic Church"

Nowhere is Pragmatism more evident than in the "electronic church" of T.V. preachers. The financial and amorous foibles of several of these "icons" of our consumerist culture are well-known. Here we will examine some of the ideas and assumptions underlying the "T.V. church.":

A. Jon Johnston (P)

    We have substituted technology for direct, personal in-volvement and ministry . . . Mass-market, mechanized technique has come to dominate our approach . . . We often attempt to employ mechanical means to 'process' people into a saving faith. Accepting the results-oriented principles and procedures of America's advertisers, we attempt to sell the gospel in the same way that McDonalds hawks hamburgers . . . by employing methods of technological manipulation. (48)
B. Carl F.H. Henry (P)
    What awaits a movement if its idolized spokesmen are given more to . . . public relations or to national image than to powerful convictions, . . . more to statistics than to substance? (49)
C. Charles Colson (P)
    The church has been crippled from within by an invasion of barbarian values and habits. Nowhere is this more evident than in the electronic church, where lavish ministries compete for audience share and viewer dollars as surely as network programs vie for ratings and advertising dollars. There are notable exceptions, of course. Billy Graham . . . has used television for years to faithfully preach the gospel. But much of the electronic church has given in to the prevailing moods of the culture it puportedly exists to confront. (50)
7. Charles Colson (P)
    . . . Mother Teresa's simple truth: God calls us to faithfulness, not success. We are motivated not by flattering statistics . . . No, our goal is simply obedience . . . no matter what happens - or doesn't happen - around us . . . a holy perseverance that only God himself can give. (51)

    Some evangelists see converts as trophies in a big game hunt and measure their success by numbers . . . The result of all this is a watered-down message that, in large part, accounts for today's epidemic spread of easy believism, Christianity without cost. (52)

    For many, church growth has become the goal, larger and more elaborate sanctuaries the measure of spirituality . . . This 'bigger is better' mindset is deadly . . . Our standard is not earthly success, but faithfulness to God's calling. (53)

    It's a dangerous and misguided policy to measure God's blessing by standards of visible, tangible, material 'success.' The reason is simply that often the evidence of God's blessing will not be discernible to us . . .

    Too much today, we evangelicals attempt to gauge the 'success' of our work in terms of church membership, new construction, new programs, national publicity or prestige, or souls saved per pew. The inference is that when things are prospering 'God is blessing us' and, conversely, that when things are going poorly, or unpublicized, God's blessing is not upon the work or it is unimportant.

    This tendency of holding up success as proof of God's blessing is one of the most heretical notions abroad in American Christendom today . . .

    In the last analysis, the real test of any ministry's success is not the number of its converts, or the size of its budget, or its reputation, or even the fruits of its labors - significant though they might appear to be . . . God calls us, not to success, but to faith - obedience and trust and service - and He bids us to be unconcerned with measuring the merits of our work the way the world does. We are to sow; He will reap as He pleases.

    'Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,' the Apostle Paul exhorted the early church. Let that - and nothing else - be the standard of our Christian 'success.' (54)

8. Donald Bloesch (P)
    A persistent temptation of modern evangelicalism is to rely on human strategy and technique in carrying out the great commission to make disciples of all nations . . . Evangelicalism needs to break out of its ideological bondage to technological materialism and affirm once again the freedom of the gospel. The Word of God makes its own way in the world. It calls for our acclamation and honor but not for any undergirding to insure its success . . .

    Busyness is considered more important than being in the truth, activism more commendable than contemplation. Evangelism is regarded as a technique to be mastered, not as a surprising movement of the Spirit into which one is caught . . .

    The electronic church, which is consciously evangelical, generally features those who are seen as successful according to the standards of a consumerist, technological culture. Sin is often portrayed as failure to make something of oneself rather than as revolt against God . . .

    Activism is . . . one of the banes of evangelical religion today, and it is integrally tied up with anti-intellectualism. Evangelicals, it seems, want people who are energetic, not thoughtful. Busyness in the name of Christ appears to take precedence over being in Christ.

    The custom of counting conversions is a distinctly modern phenomenon . . . The evangelist George Whitefield wisely refused to speak of the number of conversions at his revival meetings . . . He remarked: . . .

      There are so many stony-ground hearers which receive the word with joy, that I have determined to suspend my judgment, till I know the tree by its fruits (55) . . .
    The nagging question arises: Is our reliance on church growth techniques or on the surprising work of the Holy Spirit? (56)
9. J.I. Packer (P)

Packer, a well-known and very important evangelical and professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, adds to this recurring theme:

    When I came to North America, I found that most churches, pastors, seminaries, colleges, and parachurch agencies and agents were in the grip of this secular passion for successful expansion in a way I had not met in England. Church-growth theorists, evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and others all spoke as if: (1) numerical increase is what matters most, (2) numerical increase must come if our techniques and procedures are right, (3) numerical increase validates ministries as nothing else does, and (4) numerical increase must be everyone's main goal . . .

    Nor is it that I am against churches growing numerically . . . When I see church growth that is qualitative as well as quantitative, I am thrilled. But when numerical growth is idolized, so that churches and their clergy get rated failure for not achieving enough of it, my heart sinks . . .

    A few weeks ago . . . there came my way a new book titled Liberating Ministry From the Success Syndrome. The authors, Kent and Barbara Hughes, pastor and pastor's wife . . . tell how the quest for numerical success nearly broke them, and how they learned that faithfulness, godliness, and loving service are the divine measure of real success in ministry. " . . . `How good is a timely word!' (Prov 15:23). The sickness of worshiping growth more than God is rampant; here, however, is a cure. (57)

10. Vernon Grounds (P), noted scholar and president of Conservative Baptist Seminary in Denver, reiterates the above:
    We have allowed the world to impose on us standards of success that are not biblical; and here I mean American evangelicals . . . Evangelicalism is bowing before the bitch goddess of success. It worships at the shrine of sanctified or unsanctified statistics. We are sinfully concerned about size . . . God's standards of success differ from the world's (Lk 16:15, Hebrews, ch. 11, I Cor 13:1-3, Matt 20:25-7, 25:21) . . . God's approval is the important point. (58)
11. A.W. Tozer (P) / (1897-1963), the Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor and great writer whom many view as a modern-day prophet, wrote inimitably in a piece entitled "Pragmatism Goes to Church":
    It is not by accident that the philosophy of pragmatism around the turn of the century achieved such wide popularity in the United States. The American temperament was perfect for it, and still is . . .

    Since practicality is a marked characteristic of the American people they naturally lean strongly toward the philosophy of utility. Whatever will get things done immediately with a maximum of efficiency and a minimum of undesirable side effects must be good. The proof is that it succeeds; no one wants to argue with success. It is useless to plead for the human soul, to insist that what a man can do is less important than what he is . . . Deeds you can see . . . So who cares about ideals and character and morals? These things are for poets, nice old ladies and philosophers. Let's get on with the job . . .

    Pragmatism has had and is having a powerful influence upon Christianity in the middle years of this century . . . We are affected by a kind of religious tic, a deep inner necessity to accomplish something that can be seen and photographed and evaluated in terms of size, numbers, speed and distance . . . Christian leaders compete with each other in the field of impressive statistics, and in so doing often acquire peptic ulcers, have nervous breaks or die of heart attacks while still relatively young.

    Right here is where the pragmatic philosophy comes into its own. It asks no embarrassing questions about the wisdom of what we are doing or even about the morality of it. It accepts our chosen ends as right and good and casts about for efficient means and ways to get them accomplished . . . Any question about the scripturalness of things or even the moral validity of them is completely swept away. You cannot argue with success. The method works; ergo it must be good . . .

    As one fairly familiar with the contemporary religious scene, I say without hesitation that . . . a very large part of the activities carried on today in evangelical circles are not only influenced by pragmatism but almost completely controlled by it. Religious methodology is geared to it; it appears large in our youth meetings; magazines and books constantly glorify it; conventions are dominated by it; and the whole religious atmosphere is alive with it.

    What shall we do to break its power over us? . . . We must acknowledge the right of Jesus Christ to control the activities of His church. The New Testament contains full instructions . . . about . . . what we are to do and how we are to go about doing it. Any deviation from those instructions is a denial of the Lordship of Christ . . .

    The answer is simple, but it is not easy for it requires that we obey God rather than man, and that always brings down the wrath of the religious majority. It is not a question of knowing what to do; we can easily learn that from the Scriptures. It is a question of whether or not we have the courage to do it. (59)

12. John MacArthur (P), the skilled and popular Bible expositor who is heard on nationwide radio, has written a book (Our Sufficiency in Christ, 1990) attacking pragmatism as a corruption in the evangelical church (along with excesses of psychology and mysticism).

13. My Own Experience

I myself, as a former evangelical missionary to college students, was constantly subjected to this culture-bound mentality of demanding "results." The ironic thing about this is that the most able exponents of true evangelical tradition, such as those cited above, have strongly refuted this outlook as unbiblical and indeed, sinful. Do the innermost principles of Protestantism inexorably bring out this pragmatic impulse, despite even the hostility of the wisest evangelical leaders? Louis Bouyer and other Catholic observers would affirm this.

Whatever the case, to fight this overwhelming tendency is tantamount to attempting to reverse the direction of a mighty river. Thus, my own attempts to do so proved, for all intents and purposes, perfectly futile, no matter how hard I sought to appeal to Scripture, reason, or great Protestants past and present - one of the most frustrating and remarkable experiences I've had as a Christian. In March, 1989, while still an evangelical and a missionary, I wrote the following in exasperation, in a paper on this topic:

    To gain God's approval (Heb 11:2,39) is the epitome of 'success.' . . . The accolades of men rate a very poor second to that! Since an evangelist, biblically speaking, is simply one who 'proclaims the gospel' (the outcome is not included in the definition, nor is such a 'requirement' found anywhere in Scripture), a 'successful' evangelist is one who is faithful and persevering in proclaiming the gospel. An unsuccessful evangelist is one who fails to do the same.
I found many evangelicals who agreed with my estimation:

14. Garry Friesen (P)

    Spiritual success is . . . faithfulness to the commands of God . . . whether the outcome is a great revival or a slammed door . . . Any argument from experience is of dubious value. For it is simply impossible to judge the 'success' of an action or a ministry strictly on the basis of its observable outcome. (60)
15. Amy Carmichael (P) - the great missionary to India:
    Our Master has never promlsed us success. He demands obedience. He expects faithfulness. Results are His concern, not ours. (61)
16. Howard Snyder (P)
    "Success is measured by faithful service. (62)
17. John Stott (P)
    Evangelism must not be defined in terms of results, for this is not how the word is used in the New Testament . . . To 'evangelize' in New Testament usage does not mean to win converts . . . Evangelism is the announcement of the good news, irrespective of the results . . . The essence of evangelism lies in the faithful proclamation of the gospel . . . The results are in the hand of Almighty God. (63)
18. J.I. Packer (P)
    The question whether or not one is evangelizing cannot be settled by asking whether one has had conversions . . . Evangelism is just preaching the gospel . . . The non-appearance of quick results is no sign of failure . . . It is God's prerogative to give results . . . If we regarded it as our job, not simply to present Christ, but actually to produce converts . . . our approach . . . would become pragmatic and calculating . . . Our philosophy of evangelism would become terrifyingly similar to . . . brainwashing. (64)
19. Billy Graham (P) - of all people - could lay claim to "success" according to the criteria of the American god/idol pragmatism, as perhaps the preeminent evangelist of the 20th century (from either the biblical or pragmatic perspectives on what is "successful"). But he agrees with all the other opinions compiled above:
    Nowhere do the Scriptures tell us to seek results, nor do the Scriptures rebuke evangelists if the results are meager . . . Evangelists . . . cannot convert anyone; that is the Spirit's work. (65)

1. Materialism

A. Kenneth Kantzer (P), professor of Theology and Dean of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a senior editor of Christianity Today, declares that:

    The overriding problem of the evangelical church today . . . is materialism . . . as a way of life . . . The Bible is so diametrically opposed to it that to profess it and to profess Christianity in one breath is patently absurd. But . . . it seems to be 'normal' church life and is, indeed, extraordinarily respectable. (66)
B. Jon Johnston (P)
    Today's evangelical church has . . . come to cling tightly to, and even worship, those materials that satisfy the flesh. Many deserve the label 'materialistic.' . . . We wrongly aspire to (and frequently attain) a gaudy, materialistic lifestyle . . .

    We need to ask what can be done to achieve a desperately needed mid-course correction among evangelical Christians. First, it is our responsibility to actively cultivate a simplified lifestyle. (67)

C. Carl F.H. Henry (P)
    American evangelicalism is being spiritually thwarted by its affluence. No group of Christians has . . . more to learn about sacrifice . . . [our] lifestyles are clearly non-Christian . . . marked by greed, extravagance, self-gratification, [and] lack of compassion for the needy. (68)
D. Increasing Concern Among Evangelical Leaders

Many evangelical leaders are alarmed at this unbridled love of mammon among their flocks and peers, and an increasing number of books are now appearing, by, e.g., Ron Sider (69), Jacques Ellul (70), Tom Sine (71), Anthony Campolo (72), John White (73), and Richard Foster (74). Sadly, however, the concern of wise leaders will likely have little effect on the massive accommodation to the influence of worldly pressures.

2. Selfism (Narcissism)

A. Jon Johnston (P)

    Evangelicals are being swept away by our society's undertow of narcissism . . . Personal needs, activities, traditions, and customs have become the predominant focus of our attention . . . We are giving highest priority to attaining personal comfort . . . In general, we rationalize others' afflictions and confine our attention to matters related to personal morality . . . A growing number of us are equating God's favor with the amount of personal blessings He bestows. In other words, we believe that good health, fortune, and success are indicators of God's personal approval of our lives. (75)
B. Donald Bloesch (P)
    The values of the technological society have penetrated the enclave of evangelicalism as much or nearly as much as they have the liberal establishment. Prayer is now seen as a technique for satisfying the desires of the heart. Salvation is interpreted as the fulfillment of the self in terms that society can understand and respect. God is portrayed as the unlimited possibility which we can tap into in order to gain security and happiness. Success is measured in terms of productive achievement. The Bible is evaluated according to how it functions in bringing people their desired goals in life. (76)
C. Carl F.H. Henry (P)
    While evangelicals reject 'unbiblical Narcissism,' there is little remorse today for the sinful self; prime concern centers, rather, on self-potential, self-fulfillment, and even self-veneration. No clear line is drawn between self-indulgence and self-affirmation. (77)
D. Charles Colson (P)
    Much of today's teaching and preaching communicates Christianity as an instant fix to all of our pains and struggles. Consequently, we begin to think of our faith as a sparkling magic wand: we wave it, and presto, our problems are gone in a puff of smoke. But this is, bluntly put, heresy. Like most subtle heresies, it tickles our ears . . . It not only makes Christians incredibly naive in approaching complex problems, but it can shatter the fragile faith of the believer who expects the magic wand to work every time. When those problems don't disappear . . . he questions whether his spirituality is faulty. (78)

Having examined some of the inherent flaws and weaknesses in the idea of Protestantism, and detailed some of the major sociological problems plaguing evangelicalism today, we now move on to the novel concept, again inspired by Louis Bouyer - himself a convert who exhibits a deep understanding of, and regard for, Protestantism, - of Catholicism as the only fulfillment of Protestantism.

1. Louis Bouyer

    This book is a . . . plain account of the way in which a Protestant came to feel himself obliged in conscience to give his adherence to the Catholic Church. No sentiment of revulsion turned him from the religion fostered in him by a Protestant upbringing followed by several years in the ministry. The fact is, he has never rejected it. It was his desire to explore its depths, its full scope, that led him, step by step, to discover the absolute incompatibility between Protestantism as a genuinely spiritual movement stemming from the teachings of the Gospel, and Protestantism as an institution . . . He saw the necessity of returning to that Church, not in order to reject any of the positive Christian elements of his religious life, but to enable them, at last, to develop without hindrance . . .

    The principles of Protestantism, in their positive sense . . . are not only valid and acceptable, but must be held to be true and necessary in virtue of Catholic tradition itself . . . Salvation as the pure gift of God in Christ, communicated by faith alone . . . justification by faith in its subjective aspect, which means that there is no real religion where it is not living and personal; the absolute sovereignty of God, more particularly of his Word as contained in the inspired writings - all these principles are the heart of Protestantism as a reforming movement. Yet . . . they are all corroborated by Catholic tradition, and maintained absolutely by what is authoritative, in the present, for all Catholics . . . The principles of Protestantism are . . . authentically and essentially Christian . . .

    How could a reform which set out from such principles end in schism, even in heresy? . . . In the actual development by the Reformers of these principles, there were inserted at the outset negative elements having no intrinsic connection with them . . . the presuppositions of the nominalist thought of the 15th century, that is, of what was the worst of all the too real corruptions of medieval Catholicism . . . Actually, not one of the errors the Church was led to condemn in their teaching was of their own creation; extrinsic justification, faith shut up in subjectivism, purely negative transcendentalism (God beyond reason and morality, or rather beyond the true and the good), the flat opposition of the authority of Scripture to that of the Church - there were so many theses of nominalist theology which had up to then escaped condemnation, simply because they did not leave the sterile playground of the dialectic of the schools. The Reformation, however, to its misfortune as much as the Church's, brought them out into the pulpit and the public square. This connection of the principles of Protestantism with the worm-eaten framework of a decadent medievalism, far from serving them, simply suffocated them, as we saw from the history of Protestantism from its second generation onwards . . .

    As long as one maintains the alternatives created fallaciously and develops the principles on nominalist lines, it is impossible to oppose the fatal negations of orthodox Protestantism without denying or misunderstanding what was wholly positive in it. This alone accounts for the strange paradox that the Reformation, begun to extol the work of grace, arrived at a Pelagianism never equalled before . . . begun to establish beyond dispute the divine authority of Scripture, ended by reducing it to a purely human document . . .

    If the whole evil arises from the bond forged, unawares at the outset, between the positive principles of the Reformation and the negative elements which had nothing to do with them, to return to this bond, and attempt to tighten it still further, could only result in bringing back to its starting-point an evolution, necessarily disastrous, and to make it more fatal than ever . . .

    On the other hand, we have seen that if Protestantism has been able to retain and renew its vitality, that was due to a series of 'revivals' . . . It was impossible to do this without at the same time, even unconsciously, drawing nearer to Catholicism . . .

    Catholicism in so far as opposed to the principles of Protestantism, only opposes a systematisation of them that rests on fallacies and leads to their destruction. In reality, the real tenets of Catholicism, if seen as they are and not through a distorting lens, bring the Reformation principles the support refused to them by the structure actually made for them. (53:13,168-9,232-5)

2. G.K. Chesterton

In conclusion, we quote from G.K. Chesterton, another convert who was a premier literary figure in England from around 1900 to his death in 1936, and who is generally considered, along with C.S. Lewis, one of the greatest Christian apologists of this century:

    Now conversion consists very largely, on its intellectual side, in the discovery that all that picture of equal creeds inside an indifferent cosmos is quite false. It is not a question of comparing the merits and defects of the Quaker meeting-house set beside the Catholic cathedral. It is the Quaker meeting-house that is inside the Catholic cathedral . . . In other words, Quakerism is but a temporary form of Quietism which has arisen technically outside the Church as the Quietism of Fenelon appeared technically inside the Church . . . The principle of life in all these variations of Protestantism . . . consists of what remained in them of Catholic Christendom . . .

    Protestants are Catholics gone wrong; that is what is really meant by saying they are Christians . . . Thus a Calvinist is a Catholic obsessed with the Catholic idea of the sovereignty of God. But when he makes it mean that God wishes particular people to be damned, we may say with restraint that he has become a rather morbid Catholic. In point of fact he is a diseased Catholic; and the disease left to itself would be death or madness. But, as a matter of fact, the disease did not last long, and is itself now practically dead. But every step he takes back towards humanity is a step back towards Catholicism. Thus a Quaker is a Catholic obsessed with the Catholic idea of gentle simplicity and truth . . .

    To us, therefore . . . it is quite obvious . . . that they are simply characters in our own Catholic history, only characters who caused a great deal of trouble by trying to do something that we could do better . . . In all of them you find that some Catholic dogma is, first, taken for granted; then exaggerated into an error; and then generally reacted against and rejected as an error, bringing the individual in question a few steps back again on the homeward road . . .

    In short, the story of these sects is not one of straight lines striking outwards and onwards . . . It is a pattern of curves continually returning into the continent and common life of their and our civilisation; and the summary of that civilisation and central sanity is the philosophy of the Catholic Church . . . The Catholic Church is used to living with ideas and walks among all those very dangerous wild beasts with the poise and the lifted head of a lion-tamer. (59:78,80-84)

    There is one sufficient proof that there has indeed been a shipwreck. And that is that Robinson Crusoe has, ever since, been continually going back to get things from the wreck. (60:235)

1. Jones, W.T., A History of Western Philosophy: Hobbes to Hume, 2nd ed., NY: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969, p.65.
2. Whitcomb, Paul, Confession of a Roman Catholic, Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1958, pp.12-13.
3. Niebuhr, H. Richard, The Social Sources of Denominationalism, NY: Meridian Books, 1929, pp.6,21.
4. Henry, Carl F.H., Carl Henry At His Best, Portland: Multnomah Press, 1989, p.66.
5. Bloesch, Donald, The Future of Evangelical Christianity, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983, pp.56-7,65.
6. Manichaeanism: a heresy of the 3rd century holding to the belief that matter was evil (a form of Gnosticism).
7. Luther, Martin, Table Talk, ed. William Hazlitt, London: 1884, p.353.
8. Bloesch, ibid. (#5), pp.58-9.
9. Van Til, Cornelius, The Defense of the Faith, Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed Pub., 1967 ed.,pp.150,201.
10. Berger, Peter, The Sacred Canopy, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967, pp.111-13, 124-5.
11. Dawson, Christopher, The Judgment of the Nations, NY: Sheed & Ward, 1942, pp.103-4.
12. Febvre, Lucian, Un Destin: Martin Luther, 2nd ed., Paris, 1849.
13. von Harnack, Adolf, Adolf von Harnack: Liberal Theology at its Height, ed. Martin Rumscheidt, London: Collins, 1989, p.258 / From "History of Dogma," 1890.
14. Guinness, Os, The Gravedigger File, Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1983, pp.199-200.
15. Johnston, Jon, Will Evangelicalism Survive Its Own Popularity?, Grand Rapids, MI: 1980, from Foreword by Ron Sider.
16. Marty, Martin, Pilgrims in Their Own Land: 500 Years of Religion in America, NY: Penguin, 1984, pp.181-2.
17. Miller, Perry & Thomas H. Johnson, eds., The Puritans, NY: Harper & Row, vol. 1, rev., 1963, pp.3-4 / from Introduction by Perry Miller.
18. Christianity Today, October 22, 1990, pp.53-5.
19. Cross, Derek, "Belly Dancing Spirituality," Crisis, May 1991, p.6.
20. Tozer, A.W., Born After Midnight, Harrisburg, PA: Christian Pub., 1959, p.141.
21. From Fant, David J., A.W. Tozer: A 20th Century Prophet, Harrisburg, PA: Christian Pub., 1964, p.150.
22. Bloesch, ibid. (#5), pp.10,100-101.
23. Christianity Today, August 12, 1988, p.20.
24. Ibid.
25. Christianity Today, February 19, 1990, pp.15 ff.
26. Ibid.
27. Ibid.
28. Schaeffer, Franky, Bad News For Modern Man, Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1984, p.52.
29. Colson, Charles, Against the Night, Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Pub., 1989, p.103.
30. Johnston, Jon, ibid. (#15), preface, pp.35,39.
31. Quebedeaux, Richard, The Worldly Evangelicals, San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1978, p.14.
32. Rydberg, Denny, "Door Interview: Richard Quebedeaux," Wittenburg Door, June-July 1978, pp.8-24.
33. Frame, Randy, "Theological Drift: Christian Higher Ed the Culprit?," Christianity Today, April 9, 1990, p.43.
34. Sherman, Amy, "Leaders Disagree on Future of the Church," Christianity Today, April 21, 1989, p.42.
35. Frame, ibid. (#33), pp.43,46.
36. Sherman, ibid. (#34), p.42.
37. Hurley, James B., in Reflections On Francis Schaeffer, ed. Ronald W. Ruegsegger, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1986, p.301.
38. Pinnock, Clark, in Ruegsegger, ibid., pp.174,192.
39. Packer, J.I., in Ruegsegger, ibid., Foreword, pp.8,17.
40. Schaeffer, Francis A., The Great Evangelical Disaster, revised version in Complete Works, Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1984, vol. 4, pp. 304,343.
41. Ibid., pp.320-21,340.
42. Ibid., pp.361,401.
43. Neo-Orthodoxy: movement in theology spearheaded by Karl Barth and Emil Brunner, which placed a low premium on reason and was influenced by existentialism.
44. Schaeffer, ibid. (#40), pp.334-5,338,355,411.
45. Webster's 7th New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam, 1971, p.667.
46. Geisler, Norman, Christian Apologetics, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1976, pp.141-2.
47. Davis, Glenwood, Jr., "Leaving the Fundamentalist Wilderness," part 2, This Rock, June 1990, pp.17-18.
48. Johnston, ibid. (#15), pp.191,193-4.
49. Henry, ibid. (#4), p.66.
50. Colson, ibid. (#29), p.102.
51. Colson, Charles, "A Way of Escape at San Quentin," Christianity Today, March 3, 1989, p.72.
52. Colson, Charles, Loving God, Grand Rapids, MI: Zonder- van, 1983, p.95.
53. Colson, Charles, Who Speaks For God?, Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1985, pp.27,29.
54. Ibid., pp.186-8.
55. Dallimore, Arnold, George Whitefield, vol. 1, Banner of Truth Trust, 1970, p.137.
56. Bloesch, ibid. (#5), pp.6,10,99-100.
57. Packer, J.I., "Nothing Fails Like Success," Christianity Today, August 12, 1988, p.15.
58. Grounds, Vernon, "What's So Great About Success?," Leadership, vol. 2, no. 1, Winter 1981, pp.54-6.
59. Tozer, A.W., A Treasury of A.W. Tozer, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1980, pp.254-6.
60. Friesen, Garry (with J. Robin Maxson), Decision Making and the Will of God, Portland: Multnomah Press, 1980, pp.93-4.
61. Carmichael, Amy, The Gold Cord, Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, p.37.
62. In Keeley, Robin, ed., Eerdman's Handbook to Christian Belief, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982, p.402.
63. Stott, John R.W., Christian Mission in the Modern World, Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1975, pp.38-40,56-7.
64. Packer, J.I., Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1961, pp.37,40-41, 118-21,27-29.
65. Graham, Billy, The Holy Spirit, NY: Warner Books, 1978, pp.211-212.
66. Kantzer, Kenneth, "Ron Sider is Mostly Right," Christianity Today, October 8, 1990, p.21.
67. Johnston, ibid. (#15), pp.89,95.
68. Henry, Carl F.H., "Evangelicals: Out of the Closet But Going Nowhere," Christianity Today, January 4, 1980, p.21.
69. Sider, Ronald, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, NY: Paulist Press, 1977.
70. Ellul, Jacques, Money and Power, Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 2nd ed., 1979.
71. Sine, Tom, Why Settle For More and Miss the Best?, Dallas: Word Pub., 1987.
72. Campolo, Anthony, Seven Deadly Sins, Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987 (inc. Envy, Gluttony and Greed) / The Success Fantasy, Victor Books, 1980.
73. White, John, The Golden Cow: Materialism in the 20th Century Church, Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity, 1979.
74. Foster, Richard, The Freedom of Simplicity, NY: Harper & Row, 1981.
75. Johnston, ibid. (#15), pp.70-73.
76. Bloesch, ibid. (#5), pp.65-6.
77. Henry, ibid. (#4), p.70.
78. Colson, ibid. (#53), p.31.

{* = non- Catholic work}

1. Adam, Karl, The Spirit of Catholicism, tr. Justin McCann, rev. ed., Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1954 (orig. 1924).
9. de Lubac, Henri, Catholicism, tr. Lancelot C. Sheppard, London: Burns & Oates, 1950.
10. Gibbons, James Cardinal, The Faith of Our Fathers, NY: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, rev. ed., 1917.
14. Hardon, John A., The Catholic Catechism, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975.
41. Neuhaus, Richard John, The Catholic Moment, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987. *
43. Newman, John Henry Cardinal, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Notre Dame, IN: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1989 (orig. 1845).
49. Dawson, Christopher, The Dividing of Christendom, NY: Sheed & Ward, 1965.
51. Grisar, Hartmann, Luther, tr. E.M. Lamond, ed. Luigi Cappadelta, 6 vols., London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1917.
53. Bouyer, Louis, The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, tr. A.V. Littledale, London: Harvill Press, 1956.
59. Chesterton, G.K., The Catholic Church and Conversion, NY: Macmillan, 1926.
60. Chesterton, G.K., The Thing, NY: Sheed & Ward, 1929.
64. Howard, Thomas, Evangelical is Not Enough, Nashville: Nelson, 1984. *
78. Cross, F.L. & E.A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2nd ed., 1983. *
92. Stoddard, John L., Rebuilding a Lost Faith, NY: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1922.
122. Durant, Will, The Reformation, {vol. 6 of 10-vol. The Story of Civilization, 1967}, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1957. *
173. Phillips, J.B., The New Testament ln Modern English, NY: Macmillan, rev. ed., 1972.

Written / edited by Dave Armstrong. Completed 20 June 1991 / Slightly Revised 13 February 1994, 27 January 2000, and 28 January 2002.

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