WHAT THE "FATHER" OF NEW-EVANGELICALISM PREACHED WHEN HE
WAS A FERVENT FUNDAMENTALIST
OCKENGA'S NEW-EVANGELICAL STANCE
Harold J. Ockenga is widely known as the "Father of New-Evangelicalism." He was the first president of Fuller Theological Seminary where he first introduced the term "New-Evangelicalism" to the religious world at that school's inaugural convocation in 1947.
At that installation service, he also officially repudiated ecclesiastical separation, declaring that the New-Evangelicals would seek to be known for their "infiltration" of apostates/liberals rather than their severance from them. Ockenga and his fellow New-Evangelical travelers became noted for their empathy and sympathy with the liberal social-gospel advocates, along with compromising alliances with these apostate deniers of the faith.
Ockenga also served for several decades as the pastor of the historic Park Street Church in Boston, MA. Before he helped form this compromising movement which has produced horrendous confusion in so-called conservative theological circles, Ockenga was noted in his earlier pastoral days for his strong Fundamentalist stance and his militant defense of the faith in the New England area.
A GREAT MESSAGE DURING HIS FUNDAMENTALIST DAYS
Ockenga preached a message entitled "the Unique and Unparalleled Position of Park Street in Boston's Religious History" in which he staunchly exposed the apostasy and pleaded for a return to the old-fashioned Biblically orthodox way. The writer has printed below excerpts from the closing paragraphs of this sermon that vividly illustrates his former Biblicist stance.
"Many of our churches are occupied by self-confessed liberals in theology. Liberalism is another name for modernism. .this is a first cousin to Unitarianism. In fact, the beliefs of Modernism are practically identical with the beliefs of Unitarianism. Many of our pulpits have cast the beliefs of orthodoxy aside for a social gospel."
"We no longer have unity of action or of thought but many shades of opinion are represented in the churches that were once orthodox. History is again repeating itself and the new system of thought is called liberalism…it is very evident that sacramental, formal, ethical healing religions quite opposed to evangelical Christianity, are flourishing while orthodoxy is very weak..."
"The church is largely in a defunct condition through every denomination. Our ministers are preaching social panaceas instead of the doctrines of redemption and we lay the responsibility for a declining church at the door of the ministers. We must return to a message which is able to give an anchor to the soul. Instead of watering down our theology to suit the desires of the people, we must preach an unchanging message for the souls of men..."
A Fervent Plea
"In the light of our history, in the light of our former accomplishments, and in the light of the unchanging message of the Bible, we summon Boston Congregationalism to repentance through the warning of Christ in the book of Revelation that if we do not repent our candlestick will be removed…Away with diluted gospels, pink messages and adulterated Bibles. On the revealed truth this church has stood for one hundred and thirty years and shall stand in the years that are to come…"
"There is a way out for our day also. We believe that that way is by prayer, concerted prayer in social groups, daily prayer by Christians; by revivals which alone can beat back the darkness; and by fearless preaching of the orthodox tenets of redemption, that Jesus is the Son of God, that the blood of His Cross brings forgiveness and that the regeneration of the individual saves him from the pains of hell. May God guide our future and preserve us for His glory as we again attempt to point the way back to the old paths."
Unfortunately within a few years, Ockenga drastically changed his tune and made compromising alliances with the advocates of diluted gospels and soft non-controversial preachers, and also accepted adulterated unreliable translations. In contrast to Dr. Ockenga's direction change, it is this writer's earnest to remain a militant staunch Biblicist defender of the faith until the Lord returns or God calls him home—II Tim. 4:6-8.
|August-September 2009 The Fundamentalist Digest; Permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given. The above item is a sample of the numerous timely articles that are contained in the bi-monthly issues of The Fundamentalist Digest.|