PSEUDO-MISSION: Blasphemizing and Social Sciencizing
(Colby & Dennett, Thy Will Be Done [HarperCollins, 1995), p. 477)
One of the most significant integrations in neoevangelicalism occurred between theology and sociology. Sociology, social sciences, anthropology, linguistics and other human "soft" sciences (including psychology) began to be incorporated into mission theology many decades ago. Some of this was accomplished early on by John D. Rockefeller, who set up the "Baptist" University of Chicago, and later funded various think-tank institutions, as a way to bring forth a new generations of academic elites who would concoct and promote new research theories about human development and activity. The dark side of the social sciences has always been its propensity to human experimentation and social engineering.
Evangelical missionary activities from the 1940s onward took on a more radical course than simple Gospel presentation. Fuller Theological Seminary would develop the theologies that incorporated the tenets of the social sciences. (See The World Christian Movement by Al Dager [Sword Pub., 2001] for extended documentation on this point.)
C. Peter Wagner's excerpt in yesterday's Herescope post is an example of the far-reaching effects of altering the definition of mission work to include the integration of sociology with theology. Thus, a new "social science" gospel was born -- one uniquely neoevangelical with overtones of dominionism
This integration becomes manifest first and foremost in language/linguistics. Early on, the social scientists and psychologists learned the importance of language to a culture. Many decades ago the communists removed several letters from the Russian alphabet just to make it harder to read the Bible. Modern evangelicals have observed the "dumbing down" of modern Bible versions and paraphrases, some of which come with a barely-concealed "New Age" agenda. The humanistic psychologists brought the language of "felt needs" into the church. And the modern business gurus brought in purpose-driven, "servant-leader" mantras, as well as the advertising/marketing slogans which rely heavily upon the research of social scientists' use of language as a tool to manipulate consumers.
The new word "blasphemizing" at the top of this post was invented by Sandy Simpson of Deception in the Church ministries (www.deceptioninthechurch.com) in his most recent newsletter article which warns about the the new linguistic heresies. We invented the term "Social Sciencizing" -- tongue in cheek -- to describe the process by which "blasphemizing" is being integrated into neoevangelical mission activities. The purpose of this deliberate dumbing down of biblical truth, changing the names for God, and denegration of His Word has everything to do with social engineering -- purposefully manipulating cultural groups. And it is happening on a global scale.
"None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity." (Isaiah 59:4)