By Dr. Jay Grimstead
Neo-orthodoxy is a thought system that is opposed to the biblical view of reality. These two systems are in competition for the minds of evangelicals living today.
In 1978, a group of theologians met in Chicago, under the banner of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI), to forge a document for Church history that would stand in opposition to the neo-orthodox drift among evangelicals. At the time of that meeting, the theological agenda was being set by neo-orthodox theologians. As with all historic documents of Christianity, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy grew out of an effort by the leaders of Christianity to gather together by common consent and hammer out a biblical position to stand in opposition to a current heresy.
The ICBI statement was formulated into a set of Affirmations and Denials. As Francis Schaeffer reminds us, in today’s philosophically confused world, where words are distorted, devalued, and deliberately redefined, we cannot be certain that we have been understood unless we say clearly what we do not mean as well as what we do mean.
Among the 19 Articles in the Chicago Statement, Articles III through XIX stand in direct opposition to specific neo-orthodox doctrines which are currently being taught in classes and in the writings of many professors at so-called “evangelical” seminaries in America.
Following is a list of neo-orthodox heresies and false representations that liberal evangelicals want us to believe concerning the Bible. To the right of each heresy, is an Article from the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy that stands in opposition to the heresy. This chart may be useful as a “checklist” by committees seeking to hire staff for churches and organizations to determine if candidates have been “liberalized.” Most neo-orthodox, liberalized evangelical students and pastors do not know they have been influenced as they have and may claim otherwise. This list will be a useful test of their claims.
(See also "Twenty Questions" that will reveal whether you or your church leaders are Orthodox or Neo-Orthodox in their view of Scripture.)
The above article originally appeared in Crosswinds magazine, Volume II, Number 2.
Copyright ©1994 Coalition on Revival.
Dr. Jay Grimstead is the founder and director of the Coalition on Revival. He was a personal friend and co-laborer with the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer in the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy and considers Dr. Schaeffer his mentor.