Unless you have been living in seclusion somewhere, you will have noticed that a radical putsch is currently underway to get evangelicals on board with doctrines borrowed from Black Liberation Theology, Critical Race Theory, Intersectional Feminism, and other ideologies that are currently stylish in the left-leaning secular academy. All of these things are being aggressively promoted in the name of “racial reconciliation.” This has suddenly given rise to a popular movement that looks to be far more influential—and a more ominous threat to evangelical unity and gospel clarity—than the Emergent campaign was 15 years ago. The movement doesn’t have an official name yet, but the zealots therein like to refer to themselves as “woke.” Evangelical thought leaders boast of their wokeness and vie with one another to be woker-than-thou.

In many ways, today’s Woke Evangelicals are merely an echo of their Emergent forebears. The central threads of their rhetoric are identical, and many of their goals are similar—starting with their campaign to convince other evangelicals that gospel clarity alone will never reach a hostile culture. To do that, they say, we must strive for postmodern political correctness. We need to try to “make Christianity cool.”Nowadays, that means race must be an issue in practically every subject we deal with. Meanwhile, diversity, tolerance, inclusivity, and a host of other postmodern “virtues” have begun to edge out the actual fruit of the Spirit in the language and conversation of some of our wokest brethren.

The Gospel Coalition (TGC) and Together for the Gospel (T4G) were founded little more than a decade ago to bring Christians together around a shared commitment to the foundational doctrines of gospel truth. Earlier this year both organizations sponsored conferences promoting Woke dogmas. Both of them, for example, paid homage to Dr. Martin Luther King not only as a great champion of civil rights (which he certainly was), but also as an exemplar of gospel truth and authentic Christian conviction (which he emphatically was not). Those of us who don’t believe that kind of “wokeness” reflects biblical integrity have been scolded, shamed, and called racists by key leaders from both organizations.

In other words, these two organizations that were originally founded to unite believers in the proclamation and defense of the gospel are now dividing evangelicals over something other than the gospel. Under the guise of being Woke they are championing ideological dogmas and political policies that no biblically-minded Christian in any generation of church history ever considered germane to the gospel. They are actually shifting the evangelical focus away from true gospel issues.

In short, I fear both TGC and T4G are dangerously close to becoming exactly what they were founded to oppose.

via Pyromaniacs

Phil Johnson
Contributor

Phil Johnson is the executive director of Grace to You. He has been closely associated with John MacArthur since 1981 and edits most of John's major books. Phil also maintains several popular websites, including The Spurgeon Archive, The Hall of Church History, and the Pyromaniacs blog. He is an ordained elder and pastor at Grace Community Church.

9 Comments to: The Rise of ‘Woker-Than-Thou’ Evangelicalism

  1. Avatar

    Michael Board

    February 14th, 2019

    All I have to say is Amen! I believe this whole woke movement is not the gospel. It’s called gospel but really it’s a social gospel.

    Reply
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    JanC

    March 8th, 2020

    I have been warning about this on my blog since at least 2014. Tim Keller, one of the founders of Gospel Coalition is an avowed liberal. I don’t think this is anything new with them, but their intent all along. Richard Stearn, CEO of World Vision, also has a very liberal bent and with his book The Hole in Our Gospel is responsible, to a degree, for the direction some segments of the church is heading, in my opinion.

    It is indeed, the Emergent Church renamed. Their name is “Woke” and they grow increasingly dangerous.

    Reply
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      Norma Price

      March 12th, 2020

      Agre… Tim Keller is a false teacher. Why is this not publicised more? Here is dangerous.

      Reply
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    Tikvah

    March 8th, 2020

    Wow,this is bad! “But Lords,didn’t we…”

    Reply
  4. Avatar

    Mike Yonce

    March 8th, 2020

    “In short, I fear both TGC and T4G are dangerously close to becoming exactly what they were founded to oppose.”

    I believe they have arrived, and are irrelevant to the mission of the church, though they need to be continually exposed for what they have become for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. Sad times we are living in.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Norma Price

      March 12th, 2020

      Agree!

      Reply
  5. Avatar

    Karen Jensen

    November 5th, 2020

    Phil,

    My husband and I were former members of Grace Church, and Grace fellowship, then Sojourners before moving to Arizona, where Andrew Gutierrez (former elder at Grace, graduated from TMS) is now our Pastor. However, I am just now learning about the dangers of the social justice “gospel”, and The Gospel Coalition. Andrew is a member of TGC Arizona. His reasoning is that so he can help those other Biblical pastors in Arizona become more reformed. I have just learned that Ray Ortlund is a proud fully “woke”, and Andrew loves Ray Ortlund. Three of our ladies’ Bible studies are using a David Platt book (I don’t know the name) on missions, but one of the ladies says that by lesson three, the social justice gospel is coming through. Would the Grace Church bookstore ever allow David Platt’s book it its store, and if not, why not? I was not able to speak to Andrew directly, since he was called away on an emergency when his father went into the hospital for Covid, so met with new pastor John Filkey (also a member of TGC AZ) and pastor Jason Drum (also a grad of TMS) who tried assuring me that the whole session at Canyon Prescott is totally against the social justice gospel. I am not so reassured. In fact I am rather alarmed. Should I be? For me, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. How about Come out from among them and be ye separate. Can light have communion with darkness? I understand Andrew refused to sign the Dallas statement against the social gospel. He usually brings a lot of men from the church to shepherds’ conf, but I don’t think our church can wait til then. This stuff is invading our church now.

    Reply

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