November 1, 2010


Hardly a day goes by without my hearing something from the liberal mentality. This is what I would expect from a crowd that is about to deconstruct our society. The main-stream media greases its wheels on liberalism, and the education monopoly continues to turn out liberal clones at an awesome rate. The court system has set its face to destroy any vestige of conservative thought; but then, you already knew all of that.

The shock, however, does not come from the expected purveyor of non-truth. I am talking about the liberal thought, speech, publication, and public discourse in Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism. In front of me are a number of articles that in some way represent a liberal mentality. Some of them are written by our crowd. While this may sound offensive, it is true; and those who practice this compromise shouldn’t be upset when their feet are held to the fire. If a Fundamentalist talks, writes, or speaks like a liberal, he should expect to take it on the chin.

One can only wonder from whence this liberal infection has been passed on. From my perspective, the main source has been education. In an attempt to write, talk, and communicate like liberals, some have succeeded in mimicking their ideas and positions. This can be observed among those who are responsible for what I call the theological error of the month. Just how close do you want to get to these self-reliant individuals who depend on human reason for their authority? The old adage says that “if you lay down with the dogs, you will get up with the fleas.”


Scripture leaves no doubt about whom we are to follow and how we are to think. When it comes to the mind, the Bible tells us to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). This guideline extends to every thought we may have: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5). God even gives us warning about this: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

Liberalism is the exact opposite of all that God instructs us to be and do. So why do we want to think and talk like liberals? This horrible drive to be like them appears to be an affront to all that we know about loving and obeying God. I do know that all men have factual information that is valuable, no matter who has it. On the other hand, we must be able to tell the difference between fact and fiction. Evolution is part of religion, not factual science; and much of what liberalism teaches is what they believe, not what they know.

So why are today’s young fundamentalists enamored with these self-acclaimed intellectuals and scholars? The answer may lie in the fact that Evangelical and Fundamentalist leadership individuals have become their pattern. This wild desire to copy the liberal mind and language is simply rooted in pride. The idea is to be recognized, accepted, respected, and included in the intellectual community. The younger men may not have any idea what they are doing as they race away from biblical authority. They have been taught how to make a theological pretzel out any text they choose so that they, too, can be dubbed “scholars”. This makes me ask a question about the mature leadership. Is this a deliberate decision? Are they so taken with the liberal mind that they will leave the imperative behind?


First, let me say once again that I am not opposed to honest scholarship or natural intelligence. I am opposed to letting human reason be the standard. I am opposed to acceptance of any compromise that denigrates scripture, just so we can be placed alongside the elite who have a low view of scripture. I am not opposed to education; I have spent most of my life in this field, at one level or another. I am not opposed to true academic excellence or rigor in any discipline. I am opposed to any thinking or teaching that leaves the authority and sufficiency of scripture behind.

Over the past few years, educational institutions in our circles have been caught in one flap after another. It is amazing how liberal thought and communication has been a part of these. I don’t name names in this journal, because it is about principles, not liberal mental gymnastics. You may remember the issue of “certainty” that has risen in several schools of late; that one is straight out of the liberalism playbook.

Now we are embroiled in a new game football, on an ice-covered field. It is called “Who can we ‘hug’ over the liberal line?” I have made it plain that, if theology is the test on this issue, we are safe; if we are going to use philosophy, the battle is lost.


Any agencies or institutions that make the mistake of having professors who teach suspect theology in their classrooms, or speakers in their chapels, shouldn’t whine when they are caught. There is no such thing as an independent error. If reformed theology is taught, that is who you really are. If progressive dispensationalism is taught, that is who you are. If liberal kingdom theology is taught, that is who you are. The list is too long for this article but, like it or not, these things are all on the road to liberalism, because they have to use the liberal hermeneutic to reach any of their flawed conclusions.

Dr. Clay Nuttall is the Vice President of Academics – National Theological College and Graduate School.

Reprinted by permission, SHEPHERD’S STAFF October, 2010.
A communication service of Shepherd’s Basic Care. For those committed to the authority and sufficiency of the Bible. Shepherd’s Basic Care is a ministry of information and encouragement to pastors, missionaries, and churches. Write for information using the e-mail address, Shepherd’s Staff is prepared by Clay Nuttall, D.Min


  1. Hi Lou,

    The "Don't Whine" portion really stood out as important to me. Many people will preach false theology freely and then get upset when they are called on it.

    If you only allow what you know to be true to come out of your mouth then you should never be ashamed of being labeled by what you say.

    The unfortunate truth is that we all make mistakes, and must remain hyper vigilant to avoid drifting into error. Part of that vigilance includes not allowing others to preach error at our pulpits (or whatever area of influence God has allowed us).


  2. Kev:

    You wrote, “Many people will preach false theology freely and then get upset when they are called on it. If you only allow what you know to be true to come out of your mouth then you should never be ashamed of being labeled by what you say.”

    When a man’s doctrine is brought into question based on public statements he has made, is it unreasonable to ask that man to clarify his doctrine in clear, unvarnished terms? Is it unreasonable to search the Scriptures to determine the soundness of a man’s theological position?

    I can relate several first hand experiences with men on the Lordship Salvation (LS) issue in particular. There are quite a few Calvinistic men in IFB circles who without any question believe and preach LS as the gospel.

    Yet, when you try to engage many of these LS advocates on their interpretation of the Gospel they often become evasive. If you press them for some clear answers they become hostile and some will lose their testimony with an angry outburst, which I have witnessed twice.

    Thanks for the input.


  3. When a man’s doctrine is brought into question based on public statements he has made, is it unreasonable to ask that man to clarify his doctrine in clear, unvarnished terms?

    What is unreasonable is when others are expected to give, whether openly or in their hearts, an absolute yes of agreement or no of disagreement to unclear, ambiguous statements or teachings. That is a form of spiritual abuse and is only exacerbated when the questioner is made to feel he or she is in the wrong for asking for clarity.


  4. Lou,

    Pardon me for what may seem to be a dumb question to those who are already "in the know" but what is "progressive dispensationalism"? and how is it supported on a liberal hermeneutic? and finally, how does it lead into liberalism? I may have heard it taught but not be familiar with the term.
    My personal study has led me to the conviction that the basic Scofield/Ryrie position is the only one true to Scripture.

    Thank you, TimVP

  5. “The greatest debate between those who hold to traditional dispensationalism and those who hold to progressive dispensationalism concerns the issue of David's throne. In the Davidic Covenant, God promised David that he would never permanently cease to have a descendant sitting on the throne. Although there have been times prior to Christ's coming—and presently there is no one sitting on David's throne as king over the kingdom—this promise to David will be ultimately fulfilled by God when Jesus Christ returns to set up and rule the kingdom on earth (Revelation 19:11 - 20:6).

The debate is this: progressive dispensationalism says that Christ is right now at this present time sitting on David's throne and ruling. Progressive dispensationalists do not deny a literal 1,000-year kingdom that Christ will rule over. But they say that He is already sitting and ruling on David's throne.”

    Go to this site for more from the above-