Theology from A Bunch of Dead Guys™
The Hall of Church History
The Unorthodox
"Earnestly contend for the faith
which was once delivered unto the saints
for there are certain men
crept in unawares . . ." (Jude 3).

ince the end of the Puritan era, evangelicalism has been plagued with popular teachers and movements who have abandoned one or more of the great Reformation "solas": sola fide, justification by faith alone; sola Scriptura, Scripture as the only sufficient and infallible rule of faith and practice for the church; sola gratia, salvation solely by divine grace; and solo Christo, Christ alone as the Head of the church and the sole mediator between God and man.
    The movements below represent subtle but serious departures from evangelical doctrine.
    Charles Finney, for example, is usually thought of as an evangelical. The facts are, however, that he denied the doctrines of original sin and justification by faith. His doctrine was strongly Pelagian. Heresy is not too strong a word to describe it. (See the article "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" for documentation of these charges.)
    Yet Finney has been lionized by evangelicals and remains a strong influence in many churches where, if his teaching were really understood, he would not be permitted in the pulpit.
    We include this dead-end corridor in The Hall of Church History as a reminder to believers of this apostolic warning: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: How Charles Finney's Theology Ravaged the Evangelical Movement

The Major Works of C.G. Finney

Finney on Moral Government, etc.

Charles Finney is enjoying a tremendous resurgence of popularity on the Internet, as this site illustrates.

Revival Theology Resources

Writings from a number of authors who held to the "Moral Government" theory of the atonement—a modern variety of Pelagianism.

The Restoration Movement

Background on the Campbellite movement, which gave rise to the Disciples of Christ and the Churches of Christ.

Karl Barth

This page touts Barth as "a church Father . . . among us, a theologian of such creative genius, prodigious productivity, and pervasive influence that his name is already being associated with that elite group of Christian thinkers that includes Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin." Well, anyway, he's the Father of Neo-Orthodoxy. I guess that makes him a "Church Father" of sorts. But we would not include him in such rarefied company.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer was a martyr who valiantly opposed German Nazism and paid for his resistance with his life. Some of his writings, particularly The Cost of Discipleship, and Letters and Papers From Prison endure as classic devotional works that challenge readers to deeper devotion to Christ. But Bonhoeffer's theology was tainted with neo-orthodoxy and existentialism. He was, in the final analysis, unorthodox.

The Origins of the Pentecostal Movement

Pentecostalism was the offspring of numerous unbalanced and erroneous movements, including the perfectionism of the holiness movement, the radical Arminianism of the revival movement, and an unwholesome anti-intellectualism.