The Irony Of The Myth Of Influence

For a long time, I have felt that the cause of biblical Christianity has been undermined in our time by sincere people who engage in unbiblical activities for the sake of being an influence. The sad and ironic result of those actions has been harm to the cause of Christ and little or no good influence has actually occurred. The myth of influence seduces Christians into believing that by compromising important theological truths more people can be influenced for Christ.

…What leads so many evangelicals to accept the myth? Part of the motivation is the American fascination with respectability, success, and numbers. But such attitudes actually show that American evangelicals have never really left behind their nineteenth century postmillennialism. They still with great optimism look forward to the restoration of the “Evangelical Empire” of the last century. They dream of being again the “mainstream” of American religion and culture as they were before the rise of liberalism and the immigration of Roman Catholics.

W. Robert Godfrey, “The Myth of Influence” (RESOURCES: Office Hours With Bob Godfrey On the Myth of Influence)

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!


  1. Copy on your dismay at our Evangelical embrace of celebrity culture.

    But I am not against letting the knowledge of God shine in various places. Who knows what influence a public school teacher reading a passage before starting work might have on a colleague or student passing by; or of one student in a secular institution explaining his beliefs to another. I once knew an ex-military man influenced towards Christ by a fellow soldier.

    I’m not so sure Kuyper’s spiritual isolation has worked all that well, either.

    Could part of our problem be that we have ceased to be salt and light in many ways? Anyone who knows how let me know, please.

  2. Despite Jesus promising His own would be hated just as He was, we would rather be popular, and so secretly hanker for a comfortable but fatal Constantinian endorsement. Hear Peter and James. “Love not the world.” and “Adulterers!”

  3. Dr. Godfrey’s point is spot on. His description also fits some of the movers and shakers in the PCA, to a T. Some say (or dream) that the PCA “punches above its weight” or has “disproportionate influence” culturally – and especially in the sub-culture of evangelicalism itself. Hence the desire to remain at the table of the NAE. “Tim Keller” is the irrefutable answer to any who question the myth.

Comments are closed.