General Review: Events Viewed in the Light of God’s Word -- By: Herman A. Hoyt

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 02:2 (Spring 1961)
Article: General Review: Events Viewed in the Light of God’s Word
Author: Herman A. Hoyt

General Review:
Events Viewed in the Light of God’s Word

Herman A. Hoyt

Dean and Professor of New Testament
Grace Theological Seminary

Within the horizon of professing Protestant Christendom of the present day three significant movements are in operation. Traces of these movements were discernible at the turn of the century. But for the most part, only here and there could anything be detected that assumed the proportions of a movement. Even these were carried on under cover and felt the disfavor of the masses of Protestantism. Gradually these movements took on larger proportions and have been gaining momentum. Within the past decade these movements hove increased to enormous size. More recently the swiftness of acceleration has become almost breathtaking. These movements are the retreat from the Scriptures, the apostasy from the faith, and the ecumenical movement.

Without the shadow of a doubt these movements must be traced to underlying attitudes that have gradually been leavening the thinking of Protestant leadership. The ideas were regarded with concern, but only within a very narrow segment of professing Protestantism. No large area of the Protestant faith was fired with the conviction of their deadly peril. But now that these attitudes have grown to maturity and have borne fruit in these three movements it is possible to measure their pernicious effects. By now it is probably too late to do anything to recover the ground that is lost. The most that can be done is to conserve and preserve what little is left.

The underlying attitudes are three in number. Basically there is the attitude toward the authority of the Scriptures. Growing out of this is the attitude toward the doctrines of the Scriptures. And this leads inevitably to the attitude toward the depository of the Scriptures. The low view of the doctrines of the Scriptures has produced an apostasy from the faith. The low view of Church unity has degenerated into Church union. No one who has any familiarity with the movements in Protestantism today can gainsay the evidence so plentiful upon every hand.

Shortly after the turn of the century, The National Council of Churches come into existence as an organization. It went under another name then, and only recently changed to the present caption. But the organization remains the same. It was a rather loosely organized group of Protestant denominations working together in cooperation. Even at that early date it was intended to promote ecumenicity. The fruit of this movement is to be seen in the gradually growing number of denominational mergers. Within the past several decades the number has been increasing. The most recent is a proposal that come before the annual meeting of The National Council of Churches in San ...

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