The thought that evangelicalism could through time resemble liberalism once seemed far fetched to me. How could a movement so opposed to the rise of unbelief that settled in the churches as liberal theology, ever embrace methods and ideas that it once stood against.
My incredulity toward this possibility was due to a confusion between the particular expression of unbelief (anti-supernaturalism) and the general inclination of heart and mind that gives deference to the mood and mindset of the culture above that of Scripture.
This is a situation that is faced by every generation in the Church. The battle over liberalism was not fought once and the results confined to the pages of history. No it is a battle that is fought over and over again. And it is being fought today as we choose whether to accommodate the gospel according to Scripture to the culture, or whether we will count the cost and be faithful to the Word of God.
Speaking of the doctrinal crisis in evangelicalism Sinclair Ferguson has recently written that:
The knowledge of the person and work of Christ, clear thinking about the nature of justification and its grounds, and its relationship to and differences from sanctification--the issues to which earlier generations had given so much attention--were now regarded as of marginal practical relevance...Somewhat unnervingly, the results in every recent poll of what evangelicals believe (or don't believe) suggest that a turning to the self and a de-centering of the Trinity has become pervasive in the subculture that was thought to be immune to liberalism.
When this is the ethos of the evangelical church, it is in no fit state to deal with any new wind of teaching.
Sinclair B. Ferguson, "Introduction: the Justification Crisis," in K. Scot Oliphint (ed.) Justified in Christ: God's Plan for us in Justification, p. 4
Sinclair Ferguson's eighteen page introduction is available as a pdf. file download, and the book to buy, at the Westminster Bookstore.