George Whitefield Documentary by Martyn Lloyd-Jones


Evangelical Indifferentism

Phil Johnson has written a great article on the state of contemporary evangelicalism.  Phil writes:

Evangelicalism regularly comes under attack from all sides, and let’s face it: a lot of the criticism leveled against evangelicals is well deserved. Although I hold firmly to historic evangelical doctrine, I thoroughly despise what the contemporary evangelical movement has become. That’s an important distinction. Evangelical doctrine and the evangelical movement are not the same thing. Nowadays they often look like polar opposites.

In fact, post-modern evangelicals don’t really have any clear doctrinal identity….I’d be inclined to say that the singular characteristic that stands out most among contemporary evangelicals is their distaste for drawing any clear lines between truth and error. They don’t like to handle doctrine in a polemical fashion. They especially don’t want to be thought “negative” when it comes to declaring their doctrinal convictions. They don’t want anyone to think they are “against” what someone else teaches.

Phil also quotes Martyn Lloyd-Jones who spotted this illness decades ago:

One of the first signs that a man is ceasing to be truly evangelical is that he ceases to be concerned about negatives, and keeps saying, We must always be positive….The argument which says that you must always be positive, that you must not define the man in terms of what he is against, as well as what he is for, misses the subtlety of the danger.

Evangelicals largely wear indifferentism as a badge of honor, and are quite offended when anyone would dare draw absolute distinctions. This is the only way that the Robert Schullers and Joel Osteens can find an audience in evangelical churches–and those are just the obvious big offenders.