What one believes about soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) is foundational to every other theological category and will affect those categories accordingly! If the foundation is wrong then everything else built on it will not be right. In the next several posts I want to show how the Postmodern Movements of our day have a philosophy of salvation and not a theology of salvation and how that affects their ecclesiology (doctrine of the church) and their eschatology (doctrine of end-times).
As to the soteriology (doctrine of salvation) of the Postmodern Movements, they are man-centered and not God-centered. The movement as a whole can be traced back to bad roots in the area of soteriology. Primarily it is Pelagian and/or semi-Pelagian at its roots. "Pelagianism denies the fallenness of our nature; it denies original sin."
Semi-Pelagianism says, "Yes, there was a fall; yes, there is such a thing as original sin; yes, the constituent nature of humanity has been changed by this state of corruption and all parts of our humanity have been significantly weakened by the fall, so much so that without the assistance of divine grace nobody can possibly be redeemed, so that grace is not only helpful but it’s absolutely necessary for salvation. While we are so fallen that we can’t be saved without grace, we are not so fallen that we don’t have the ability to accept or reject the grace when it’s offered to us. The will is weakened but is not enslaved. There remains in the core of our being an island of righteousness that remains untouched by the fall. It’s out of that little island of righteousness, that little parcel of goodness that is still intact in the soul or in the will that is the determinative difference between heaven and hell. It’s that little island that must be exercised when God does his thousand steps of reaching out to us, but in the final analysis it’s that one step that we take that determines whether we go to heaven or hell — whether we exercise that little righteousness that is in the core of our being or whether we don’t."
In essence, both Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism, claim that man isn't really all that bad and he just needs a little help. But that isn't what the Bible teaches on the subject! The Bible teaches that man is "dead in trespasses and sin", "there is none good, not even one", and "no one can come to Me unless it is granted to Him by My Father." "The semi-Pelagian doctrine of free will prevalent in the evangelical world today is a pagan view that denies the captivity of the human heart to sin. It underestimates the stranglehold that sin has upon us."
Also inherent in Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism is the idea that "God helps those who help themselves." And again that is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that "God helps those who cannot help themselves."
Salvation is by grace alone! Only the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation and therefore all the man-centered gospel gimmicks are doomed to failure. There may be those caught up in the Postmodern Movements that claim to be "reformed in theology" but their methods betray them - "They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him" (Titus 1:16).