New Neutralism II: Exposing the Gray of Compromise
By John E. Ashbrook
Here I Stand Books, Second Printing, 2002, 110 pp.
I’ve recently reviewed a couple of excellent books about the sad history of evangelicalism’s slow and steady journey towards compromise and accommodation with Roman Catholicism and other errors. See my review of “Promise Unfulfilled: The Failed Strategy of Modern Evangelicalism” by Rolland D. McCune here and my review of “We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics” by Neil J. Young here.
Fundamentalist pastor, John E. Ashbrook (d. 2011), expanded upon the themes of the 1958 booklet, “The New Neutralism,” written by his pastor father, William Ashbrook, to produce this short book, which was first published in 1992. By “neutralism,” the author is referring to compromise with error and religious unbelief. As with “Promise Unfulfilled,” Ashbrook examines the rise of “New Evangelicalism” and its wayward journey. New Evangelicalism was the brainchild of Harold Ockenga, Carl Henry, and Billy Graham. They determinedly broke from fundamentalist separatism in the late 1940s and plotted a course that would be more accommodating in relationship to modernists and Catholics. The initial idea was that “dialogue” would win more souls than confrontation, but, as might be predicted, accommodation with error gradually turned into acquiescence to error.
Ashbrook names many names and doesn’t pull his punches. His tone is angry, strident, and sometimes even sarcastic as befits a fundamentalist pastor with an ax to grind, but it’s hard to argue with much of what he’s written here. One need only turn on TBN to see the heterodox bitter fruit of Ockenga, Henry, and Graham’s “New Evangelicalism” vision.
- Why the New Neutralism?
- Separatism, Acceptance, and the Social Gospel
- The NAE, the WEF, and Camels
- Fuller Seminary – Exhibit A
- Billy Graham – The Mouthpiece of New Evangelicalism
- Billy Graham’s Catholic Connection
- Mr. Revolutionary (Bill Bright) and Campus Crusade
- Intellectuals in Residence
- The Popularizers
- Explos and Extravaganzas
- Jerry Falwell and the Gnu Evangelicalism
- The Institutions
- A View From the Top of the Hill