This post is the third in a series addressing New Liberalism and the Southern Baptist Convention. “New Liberalism” is a catch-all term for what some see as a theological threat similar to the liberalism of the previous century. This series does not assume that New Liberalism is in the SBC, but is intended to more clearly delineate the concept of New Liberalism in relation to the SBC.
If secondary, tertiary, and social matters of the Christian faith have come to the center of theological discourse within the SBC, then one cannot escape discussing them. The New Liberalism forces itself upon us. With it comes the exaltation of psychology and sociology in relation to the tenets of a strictly biblical Christian worldview. The idea is that ‘all truth is God’s truth,’ which is true enough in and of itself. However, the approach of the New Liberalism is prone to place parity between the authority of what we derive from nature and the authority of what we derive from Scripture such that the mind of man becomes the measure of all things, including Scripture. In such a system, the word of God is no longer the normative interpretive tool of the word of God, but the word of man, divorced from all but the ethical imperatives of Scripture. Works-righteousness is emphasized, and grace is de-emphasized, soteriologically and hermeneutically, as it were.