what does a neo-evangelical look like?

I am reading a bit from an interesting book called Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible by R. Laird Harris.

The book is out of print, but if the rest of the book is like the first chapter, I’d say it is well worth having if you can find it. Harris wrote in 1957, although my edition was published in 1969.

Harris writes a lucid style, and his scholarship is excellent. The first chapter is an introduction to his topic. In it he lays out the argument he is confronting, that of attacking the inerrancy of the Scriptures. For the most part he is very strong in his rebuttals (although he concedes too much by being willing to allow for a more than 24 hour day during the creation week). Here is a comment where he emphasizes the need for strong rebuttal of error.

But how about the Church itself? Surely the leaders of our great Protestant denominations have resisted the “acids of modernity,” Unfortunately, it is not so. Painful it is to have to relate how our church leaders have for the most part felt that they could neutralize these acids simply by diluting them slightly. The effort has been not to meet the attack head on but to appease the gathering unbelief at every point and meanwhile to try to salvage some shreds of faith from the general ruin. The result has been a preaching without conviction, a religion without authority, a Christ of human proportions. And in a world sick unto death the Church has turned to the panacea of ecumenicalism to present to the world a united front – united in unbelief. [p. 37]

He sounds almost like a fundamentalist, but, alas, he isn’t one. He is thoroughly a new evangelical as you will see by his brief bio on wikipedia, linked above.

The reason this quote is so striking to me is that it is strong language from a man who took the new evangelical side of the debate in the 1950s. Many of the men who made the wrong choice at that time were fearless preachers of truth in their day.

There is a group of men today who make bold statements, who seem to hold the truth unflinchingly, but who also have serious issues in their choices of association and affiliation as have been documented time and time again (lately with great surprise among some ‘young fundie’ admirers). We are told that this new crowd of conservatives are different, that there aren’t any neo-evangelicals anymore, etc. To which I can only say: