Why Progressive Christianity Will Fail

For the past few months, I’ve been reviewing books that propose a “New Christianity,” revised to conform to progressive culture. Progressive Christianity recommends a new sexual code, LGBTQ+ acceptance and affirmation, a new understanding of the authority of Scripture, a social-justice Jesus, a non-omnipotent God, and an inclusive church. Progressives seem to think that the time is right for their message: young people are leaving traditional and evangelical churches in droves, tired of their moralistic, judgmental, dogmatic, and politically conservative agenda. Progressives offer their new Christianity to these “exiles” as an alternative to evangelicalism on the one hand and secularism on the other.

Progressives correctly observe that young people are dropping out of churches. And some of these dropouts give the reasons cited above. However, as readers of this blog series know, I am convinced that the “New Christianity” being proposed by progressives is not Christianity at all; it is a counterfeit. And I am worried that many believers will be fooled by its likeness to the real thing. I’ve been told that recognizing a counterfeit one hundred dollar bill does not require knowledge of every possible mistake counterfeiters can make. It requires only detailed knowledge of authentic currency.

Sadly, few of these discouraged evangelicals possess detailed knowledge of authentic, original Christianity. They do not know the details or the central themes of the Bible, not to mention the story of church history…or history in general! Hence, they are vulnerable to clever (re)interpretations of Bible texts and themes that do not fit the progressive narrative. Many will be deceived.

In the short term, I am pessimistic that I or other writers can stem the tide of the progressive movement. I feel like a person watching a slow-motion train wreck from a distance. No matter how much I yell no one listens and nothing changes. In the long term, however, I am certain that progressive Christianity will fail. The main reason for my optimism is this: the continued existence of the Bible. Progressives cannot discard the Bible completely without renouncing their claims to be Christian. However, as long as the Bible can be found in bookstores, church pew racks, in libraries, and in private residences, progressive Christianity faces the danger that some people will actually read it. When ordinary people read the Bible they see that progressive Christianity is not the original, authentic Christianity but a fake.

And this thought gives me hope.

9 thoughts on “Why Progressive Christianity Will Fail

  1. Dr Jonne Smalhouse

    Hello Ron.
    I’ve often thought about the archaeological findings of christian symbols, declarations and evidence of small groups of worshippers and families– often just a mother and father together, deep down inside the burial chambers of the catacombs below ancient Rome.
    Paul was a well-known, physical remonstrance of being ‘in chains for the Lord’, but he was just the tip of that iceberg. All of the pomp and ceremony, beliefs and virtues, nor social and ecclesiastical practices (however educated, emancipated and zeitgeist) could stop the march of chistianity, and ‘our christian soldiers’. The Romish Church even as it is, and as it was become, has been a tool used by God for His purposes.
    You’re a soldier Ron. Keep marching my friend, just as God spoke to Caleb. Do not be disheartened. For your hope is greater than any earthly feeling, your heart is stronger than any metal, your mind, wisdom and knowledge comes from the impeterbable light of Christ!
    And, as it is written “man shall not live by bread alone- but by every word of God”. Let us not worry too much that gnostics can seem to use one or two lines of scripture, we have the Holy Spirit, they do not.
    Happy thanks giving Ron.
    Peace and joy to you and yours.


  2. Stephen Sponsler

    I’ll leave my comment very brief, as this is the ‘Nature of The Beast’ we can read of in Revelation and what J. Gresham Machen wrote about in ‘Liberalism and Christianity’. No wonder John wrote of The Spirit of Truth that they had received That was not ‘counterfeit’. Other things that I think so-called Progressives press without necessarily talking forth right about is ‘a form of universal redemption’ aka, universalism by another name. (Get behind Me Satan, for yours is the ‘way of man’) You could go to a church for months never realizing that behind all that is being said is a universal redemption if it’s not specifically stated out front. Satan was the most ‘insidious’ (subtle) of all the creatures The LORD GOD HAD MADE. It’s all Intentional on the LORD’s part to root out the weeds from the True Trees of Righteousness. Thank you for writing about this subject.


    1. ifaqtheology Post author

      Machen is one of my heroes. His book is as relevant today as it was when first written. Indeed, whether explicitly stated or merely implicit in the lack of warnings, a kind of easygoing universalism is the take away message in many churches today. One seldom hears passages like Galatians 6:8:8 expounded:

      “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”



      1. Stephen Sponsler

        You’re (we’re) not alone this subject as you know, I did a search on ‘the deception of Christian Universalism’ and got a page of posts on that subject, with contents such as the like of this (below in part) FROM the attached link


        ‘My focus on writing this post on universalism is to address what we are seeing today as more and more professing evangelical leaders join the ranks of those who teach ‘The Restoration of All Things in Ages to Come.’ This teaching is very subtle and seductive as well as appealing to those who have loved ones who do not walk with the Lord. However, it is unsupported in the Bible.

        It wasn’t long ago that universalism was regarded as an extreme minority position held by Unitarians and a few cults. However, a new version of this heresy has emerged which we refer to as Christian univeralism. What is the difference?”

        AND THIS:

        ….”Why should we be concerned about this? What does it matter that a few people believe that there is no Hell as long as they believe in the necessity of the cross? It is wrong because it is heretical. It is not what the Bible teaches. It changes the very words of our Lord and the Apostles to appease the demands of people to be included into God’s family who refuse to repent and believe the Gospel. No matter how it is dressed up, it is still a lie with it’s roots in Genesis 3:1-5″ (that is my position in many doctrines of The One True and Living Faith, much of what Paul wrote can be traced back to Genesis 1 through Genesis 3 even).


  3. ifaqtheology Post author

    Thank you for your encouraging words! I often remember the words of the Lord to Isaiah (quoted also by Jesus):

    ‘Go and tell this people:

    ‘“Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.

    ”Make the heart of this people calloused;
    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes.
    Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.’(Isaiah 6:9-10).

    As sad as these words are, they let us know that our decision to speak the word of the Lord should not depend on the prospects for success as we usually understand success.


    1. Stephen Sponsler

      What is in this article is exactly what is going on at the church I’ve attended my whole life — it is PROUD of it’s ‘All are welcome here” (in rainbow colors), and their new slogan: “A just world for all’ (also on a rainbow banner). My parents go to that church and dad used to preach there too, but they still go and have no problem with it. It’s a very hard predicament — I left for a while but they are getting into their 90s and time is short.


      1. Dr Jonne Smalhouse

        Hello Stephen Sponsler
        You describe something in which you are by no means alone.
        Sometimes it seems as though time catches up with us- blink and you miss it. I know exactly what you mean about parents and family, often friends. This was why i mentioned christians in an ‘underground’ scenario, in a metaphysical sense.
        As people become unable to attend conventional church ( yes there’s TV) but there is nothing like, even, a small gathering in Christ’s name. Lower key, intimate home groups are still ‘church’ in my view.
        “Whenever two or more are gathered-“.
        Are we frightened that we really need church? Take the sacrament at home…
        Just before my dad died, at night, after many false alarms– only his nurse was there. He was unable to move. He sat bolt upright and declared ” Jesus, i love you!”
        Would you take that?
        I did.
        God bless.


      2. Stephen Sponsler

        Thank you for commenting. I agree, I (personally) believe that was His Repentance right then and there. The LORD knows the heart, so our words alone almost never describe the fullness of what is going on inside — what is inside precedes what comes out (expressed or not). Have a Great Christmas!


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