and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a new cross
into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but
different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences,
From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy
of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new
evangelical technique -- a new type of meeting and a new kind of
preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old,
but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.
The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam's
proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect
the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not
opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if
understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and
innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life
motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure....
The new cross
encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The
evangelist... preaches not contrasts but similarities. He
seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity
makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing
the world does, only on a higher level...
The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It
gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his
self-respect.... It is false because it is blind. It misses completely
the whole meaning of the cross.
The old cross is a symbol of
death.... The race of Adam is under death sentence. There
is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the
fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the
eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then
raising him again to newness of life.
That evangelism which
draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men
is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The
faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In
coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher
plane; we leave it at the cross. The grain of wheat must fall into
the ground and die.
God offers life, but not an improved old
life. The life He offers is life out of death....