Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More evidence that yesterday's liberalism has become today's evangelicalism

In 1983, at the 11th World Congress of the International Council of Christian Churches at Cape May, New Jersey, Dr. Samuel H. Tow of Singapore delivered an important and prescient address titled "Today's Evangelicals, Tomorrow's Liberals." The title is equally true if reversed: Individuals and ideas regarded as liberal in 1983 are now considered "evangelical" (e.g., Jim Wallis).

From a column by Charles Lewis titled Tarring all evangelicals in the National Post, November 7, 2011:

Trinity Western University, an evangelical school, has been consistently ranked as one of the top academic schools in the country...

...In Ottawa, TWU runs the Laurentian Leadership Centre. It is meant for their brightest students who are contemplating careers in public life. I visited the centre about four years ago and spoke to many of the students. None seemed to be too fussed about gay marriage or even abortion. To them, the burning issues of the day were debt relief and global poverty. Politically, they were all over the map, including some Green party activists.

In the United States there are a number of top flight schools — Baylor, Samford, Eastern — that are all evangelical. Wheaton College in Illinois is as tough to get into as Harvard. I’ve spoken to many of their people and again they are far and a way some of the smartest people I have met. It too is an evangelical school.

When it comes to the American schools mentioned above, some might question just how "evangelical" they are, and might argue that they're examples of how evangelicalism has morphed into liberalism. Mr. Lewis's comment about the students at Trinity Western University offers further support to this argument; today's "evangelical" students at their "evangelical" schools have priorities and opinions that are indistinguishable from those of the non-Christian world around them. A "textbook" example is The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta. Click on the link for Micah Centre, then on the link titled "God's Politics," and it takes you straight to the blog of Sojourners, run by Jim Wallis, who I've always regarded as a Communist masquerading as a Christian. Mr. Wallis's views haven't changed in 50 years, but evangelicalism has moved so far to the left that it's caught up to him. Such are the results of Christians "engaging" the culture ("engagement" is the early 21st century equivalent of "appeasement," which carried a positive connotation as late as the Munich peace summit in 1938, and became a dirty word only after Adolf Hitler continued his aggression).

The trouble with "New Evangelicalism" is that it started on the wrong foot. The old-style fundamentalists, such as those in the ICCC, insisted on separation from liberal denominations. The "New Evangelicals," however, condemned the fundamentalists as lacking in love, and said that one could be affiliated with, for instance, the National Association of Evangelicals, without separating from a liberal denomination. The results have been exactly as the fundamentalists predicted.

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