The Poison Evangelicals Are Swallowing

By Dr. Thomas IcePre-Trib Research Center

Paul Smith, the younger brother of Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel fame, has written an important new book entitled, New Evangelicalism: The New World Order. [1] In this book, Smith identifies the snares that threaten to destroy the effectiveness of Bible-believing, gospel preaching, Bible teaching churches, like those within his own Calvary Chapel movement. New Evangelicalism traces the roots for the last hundred years that lurk on the horizon and threaten biblical churches today, by demonstrating how too many evangelicals have already swallowed the poison. Smith not only exposes the problem, which is abandonment of the inerrancy of Scripture, but what the solution is and how it can revive our evangelical churches.

Origins of the Problem

Peter Drucker, the management guru, is identified as the key player that influenced the rise of the church growth movement at Fuller Seminary, which lead to many anti-gospel influences within evangelicalism. Smith demonstrates historically that the existential philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard influenced Drucker leading to his pragmatic theory and approach to community and the church's role in his ideal community. Karl Barth, the famous Swiss neo-orthodox theologian, also drank heavily of Kierkegaard, who in turn captivated Daniel Fuller, the son of Charles Fuller who founded Fuller Seminary in 1947.

Even though Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California got off to a good start, by the 1960s the Seminary had abandoned inerrancy and started down the slippery slope to modern liberalism. Smith notes that former Fuller faculty member Harold Lindsell documented the Seminary's demise and abandonment of inerrancy in his famous book entitled, The Battle for the Bible in 1976. [2] Smith provides much more extensive detail of the philosophical and historical backgrounds leading up to the rapid theological demise of Fuller Seminary, which sets the stage for why that school has been at the epicenter of many of the influences that plagued evangelicalism for the last three decades.