Albert Mohler:A New Third Way? Reformist Evangelicals and the Evangelical Future


“The emergence of revisionist or reformist evangelicals raises all the questions of evangelical identity anew. Put bluntly, their proposals amount to what can only be described as a new form of Protestant Liberalism. Their proposals, though informed by various intellectual movements that emerged in recent decades, are really quite at home within the world of Protestant Liberalism that the early evangelicals explicitly rejected as sub-evangelical.

Those evangelicals painfully and courageously left the mainline denominations and their institutions precisely because those churches and denominations had been lost to liberalism. They left positions, pulpits, and pensions behind as they did what they believed fidelity to Christ and the substance of biblical Christianity required. Now, all that the early evangelicals sought to defend is under sustained subversion from within the movement they gave their lives to build.

A strange new ground has appeared on the theological landscape. A post-liberal movement has emerged from within Protestant liberalism, influenced by post-foundationalist thought and elements of postmodernism. These figures are clearly distinct from the older liberal models they dismiss as hopelessly mired in modernism, but they are not seeking to return to what theologian Edward Farley has called the old “House of Authority.” At the same time, many of the revisionist evangelicals have been deeply influenced by the same intellectual currents. Moving from the right, these reformist evangelicals now meet the post-liberals in something of a new third way in Protestant theology.”

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