Liberal Theology in the Churches: Part 3 :: By Ron Ferguson

[NOTE – Linda from Texas – I replied to you, but the mail keeps returning. If you read, then send me a note.]

This is Part 3 in the small series on Liberal Theology. I post these because of my concern about Liberal Theology overtaking the churches and rendering them impotent in any usefulness for the Lord.

Liberal theology is a mixture of intellectualism, unbelief, and demonic attack.

1Timothy 4:1-2 “The spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”

It is Satan’s force against the Bible and any of the teachings of the Bible. It has overtaken churches and denominations. This series of articles arose from presentations in Australia and England. This is not a comprehensive analysis, just a brief overall view of this pernicious movement for concerned Christians.


There is such a weight of evidence to support Adam from the Scriptures. We have only glanced at that, and it ought to be enough to persuade all but the most stubborn heart. Yet there remain two more points that are absolutely essential, for they go to the heart of credibility. We don’t want people to forget these because they are our defense against church people who dismiss the first three chapters of Genesis entirely or in part. I don’t think the arguments are very useful when discussing this matter with the unsaved, as they don’t accept the credibility of the scriptures to start with. What I will do here is use those notes of mine from the first message I gave in the seminar in Boston and adjust them if necessary to cover these two remaining points.



Before we go any further, I want to raise a matter before we look at Adam. What is the central plank of our faith? Putting it another way, what is the pivotal point on which your faith, your salvation, rests?

Surely it is the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said to the Corinthians that if Christ had not been raised, then we of all people are the most miserable, and you know why? We’d be believing in a myth, a legend, a lie! Who would want to waste his entire life living a lie?

If then our faith depends on the sacrificial work of Christ, and if we hold that the Lord was sinless, spotless, and God manifest in the flesh as the 2nd person of the blessed Trinity, then we must never, in any shape or form, attribute falsehood to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is trustworthy and not a liar. The matters of authenticity and credibility are seriously at stake.

Are the scriptures inspired by God, breathed by the Holy Spirit? Yes, they are, and Jesus Christ, my Saviour, was the Author. No wonder it was beyond human comprehension that afternoon – look, if you could pick yourself up and put yourself down anywhere in the Bible, where would you do it? – on the Emmaus Road when the resurrected Lord shared with Cleopas and his companion all the things in scripture about Himself.

Where did he begin? He began with Moses. Under inspiration, Moses wrote Genesis. I just said to you that authenticity and credibility are at stake. There is a passage we must understand:

Matthew 19:3-6 “Some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?’ HE ANSWERED AND SAID, ‘HAVE YOU NOT READ, THAT HE WHO CREATED THEM FROM THE BEGINNING MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,’ and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

God joined Adam and Eve in the garden in a union, in marriage. The passage is Genesis 2:21-25. What is certain is that the Lord accepted this Genesis account as authentic, credible, and factual. That is essential because if the creation of Adam and Eve was a fairy tale or some simplistic story to explain why sin is in the world, then you are saying that Jesus Christ was misled by believing a myth and was not omniscient, and, therefore, not the divine One. Authenticity and credibility are at stake in the account of Adam and Eve. Liberals who deny the creation of the first man, Adam, can NOT accept the second Man, Adam, because the two are so closely connected, as we will now look at. To say you reject the first Adam and accept the Second is to be a hypocrite. If you reject the original Adam, you have to dismiss the Second Adam as ignorant.


The Apostle Paul himself wrote for us the great doctrinal passages on justification by faith, and Adam, the first man, was essential in that. We will look at those now from Romans and will consider the relevant verses.

Romans 5:14 “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam who is a type of Him who was to come.”

It is most important here to realize that in the doctrine Paul is explaining, Adam plays an essential part. Without dispute, Paul accepts historic Adam, and if Adam was a myth, then so, too, is Paul’s doctrine of sin and justification.

Romans 5:15-16 “The free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one, the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.”

Now, Paul is developing this essential doctrine of justification. The transgression of “one,” that is, Adam, resulted in death, but the gift by the grace of the “one Man,” that is, Jesus Christ, has abounded to so many. Verse 16 speaks of the one who sinned, that is, Adam, who brought judgment and condemnation through his transgression, but justification has come through Christ. LIBERALS CANNOT ACCEPT THE ORIGIN OF SIN BECAUSE IT CAME THROUGH ADAM. They have to admit Paul was mistaken, believed in legends, was a liar, and had no credibility. Certainly, he could not have been writing under inspiration because the Holy Spirit can’t inspire a doctrine built on lies! The liberals must fall entirely, as they have no foundation. They have removed the essential plank of justification.

Romans 5:17 “If by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”

We now come to three verses of contrast, contrasting Adam and Christ. The whole of this doctrine is worthless if Adam was not literal, the created man who sinned. This is the first contrast looking at death and life; in Adam, there is death, and in Christ, there is life. You would never build the doctrine on the deeds of a mythical figure. As we have suggested earlier, the whole Bible is interconnected or interwoven. If one small part is dismissed, it begins to unravel. A man who believes the whole scripture is God’s infallible word will never do that.

Romans 5:18 “Then so as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.”

This second contrast looks at condemnation and justification linked to transgression and righteousness. Adam’s sin brought condemnation and, therefore, death, and Christ’s sacrifice brought justification. Christ’s death in isolation, without the reason for it, would make no sense. When Adam is dismissed, it makes the death of the Second Adam meaningless. I suppose this is not a problem for liberals because they have very few qualms about the integrity of the Bible.

Romans 5:19 “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”

Now, in the third contrast, it is disobedience and obedience, which are contrasted. Adam was the disobedient one, and Christ was the obedient One who makes many righteous. Logically there was no need for the obedient One if there was never a disobedient one. These higher criticism intellects who are happy to dismiss the first few chapters of Genesis as myth must have such a distorted basis of the theology of salvation (Soteriology).


[1]. Romans 5:12 “Therefore, JUST AS THROUGH ONE MAN sin entered into the world, and death through sin, so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”

This is such A KEY VERSE, for it locks in Adam to the whole gospel. It was through Adam that sin came into the world, and sin brought death. There is no mistake whatever that Paul speaks here of Adam. If you take Adam out of Romans, you have trashed the gospel and the book of Romans as well for establishing what has come through Adam and Christ. All that is essential to justification and grace and walking in the Spirit that God, through those great doctrines that Paul develops for us, is cemented in His word. Our faith is anchored in the truth of the word of God, not a myth.

[2]. 1Corinthians 15:21-23 “Since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits; after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

We come now to the great Resurrection and Rapture chapter. Adam is also linked into resurrection as Paul sets out this doctrine. In Adam, all have died, and out of death comes resurrection because the Lord has opened the door for us to enter heaven. Let me do the balance here in verse 22. On one side of the scale, you have Adam, and on the other, you have Christ. If you say that Adam was fictional, then the balance has gone. If Adam was fictional, so too was Christ, for the work of the second (Christ) develops from the failure of the first (Adam).

This is what liberals in churches don’t follow. They don’t see the connection and, thereby, do not understand the work of Christ. Most are not saved but have an appearance of godliness. Some have high positions like lecturers at Theological Colleges and doctorates and professorships, but they are not saved. They are the blind leaders of the blind, but very sadly, they produce blind men for church ministers, or at best, ones who have moderate to severe cataracts. If you cut away the word of God, you are no better than King Jehoiakim, who hacked away God’s word with his penknife and kept throwing it into the fire (Jeremiah 36:21-30). Those who hack away at the word of God and keep throwing it into the fire will themselves one day be thrown into the lake of fire. Never tamper with the word of God.

[3]. 1Corinthians 15:43-49 “It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy. The second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

This is another important passage. Paul is drawing the picture for a person who cannot understand the resurrection of the body, and in doing so, he is making contrasts again. These contrasts are based on fact, not in supposition and fiction. Remember, it’s the Holy Spirit who gave these Scriptures through inspiration, and God is not dishonest. The contrast is between the natural and the spiritual; the earthly and the heavenly; the first man and the second Man. Adam matches the natural, the earthly, and the first man. The Lord Jesus Christ matches the spiritual, the heavenly, and the second Man. In considering Adam, the key verse is 45. This important doctrine is built on the fact of Adam being a living soul.

[4]. 1Timothy 2:12-14 “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. It was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.”

Now, I won’t expound on this passage because some may not like what I say (and it will sidetrack us here). BUT what we are looking at here is a very important principle, one which is paramount with God. That is the matter of headship.

Because Christ is the Head of the Church, which is His Bride, then the Bible is clear that in this order, man is the head of the house and marriage and family. I refuse to argue that any more. Some wives dismiss anything their husbands say anyway. Nevertheless, headship comes about because of creation. In every passage except this one, Adam is held responsible for the transgression because he was the Head of creation, and the responsibility was his in the final analysis. Adam was the federal head of the old creation, and Christ is the federal Head of the new creation. Through the Bible, God is very clear about headship and has established the order, and it reflects what Christ is to His Church. This is more developed in Ephesians 5. In verse 13 above, the Holy Spirit, through inspiration, expresses through Paul the fact of Adam and Eve. They were as real as you and me, not mythical or just placed there for the sake of argument.

[5]. Jude 1:14 “About these also, Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones.'”

This is the last one I will consider. Jude, who was the Lord’s half-brother, had no doubts about Adam. I wonder how much discussion he had with Jesus when he grew up with Him. He was in the very presence of the One who created Adam. I find that really exciting. Really exciting!


Adam has had a lot of mention and not as much for Eve, and that is because of the headship matter. Their historic standing is equal, for both were real people. You will see I have not done Job, and Job cannot be proven from secular history and archeology any more than Samson or Joshua or Nimrod or Noah can, but they were real, just like Adam was. The decay, which is liberalism, sets its sights on Adam firstly and destabilizes that one; then, it is easier to move on and conquer other biblical areas. I would not go about trying to prove Job was a real person – he did live about 3,500 years ago. Some people don’t even know their own grandmothers who lived 100 years ago.


Some Christians can get heated up over some issues they get very defensive about. Then the term “heretic” and “false teacher” and other precise terms get used, but there are some things in the faith we do not have answers for. And we must be tolerant of others when it comes to certain issues. These points of division are NOT liberalism. I wish to cite three of these.

1. CALVINISM AND ARMINIANISM. This thorny beast has split churches and colleges for 400 years, and it must be recognized that there are differing views here right along the spectrum, left to right. A man is not a liberal if he differs from you about these things unless some extreme teaching and belief surfaces. Try not to put people into camps. Remember, John Wesley was more towards the Arminian side, while his close co-worker in the gospel, George Whitfield, was more on the Calvinistic side. They worked in harmony.

2. THE FLOOD – WORLDWIDE OR LOCAL? It is issues like this that people get hot under the collar about and accuse the other side of liberalism because things are not seen the way you see them. The fact is, the flood did occur; Noah was all the Bible claimed him to be; all sinful mankind perished; and Noah stepped into a “cleansed earth” after the flood. The flood was sufficient to destroy all mankind. Whether you think local or worldwide in regard to the flood is not an issue in liberalism.

3. THE AGE OF THE EARTH. I have seen some people here on this matter nearly have a coronary. They get so worked up. Those who pay attention to Creation Science, or AIG as it now is, can be very dogmatic about a very young earth. Others like myself are happy with a much older universe. This does NOT mean the older universe people are evolutionists and, therefore, liberals as they are sometimes branded with. Be careful how you evaluate things.

Part 4 will follow next.

God bless you all.