The Pen

Ligon Duncan’s Ecumenical Push for Unity

By Toni S. Brown

On April 01, 2019, Ligon Duncan will be teaming up with homosexual pastor,Sam Allberry for a mini-conference co-sponsored by Mark Dever’s 9Marks at TGC19 (The Gospel Coalition 2019 National Conference). They aim to “rethink”denominations, as they ask: “Do they help or harm the unity of the Church?”

In addition, Duncan is promoting a book on church unity from his personal webpage by a progressive, social activist and former president of RTS, Dr. Luder G. Whitlock.

Duncan wrote the foreward to the book, with written endorsements from Tim Keller, Russell Moore, Richard Mouwand Ethics and Public Policy Center president, Michael Cromartie. If these endorsements don’t tell you all you need to know about this book, the below quote from the back cover should:

“It’s time for Christians to listen, reach out and work together for the common good.”

The author is clear; this “unity” will not be shaped around doctrine, but the common good. This one statement is a complete departure from the work Christ commissioned his church to do, which is to “preach the gospel to every creature.” It is also a direct refutation of the command of Christ and his apostles to rebuke and separate from anyone teaching contrary to scripture. There is absolutely nothing in the whole of scripture of the Lord’s church “serving” the God-hating, pagan world or partnering with those who profess Christ but esteem the world. We are to proclaim the gospel, not renew the culture- our message is spiritual, not social. And please note the author’s directive to the church that it’s “time for Christians to listen”…enough proclaiming (Mark 16:15), apparently we just need to listen for a change! But to whom? Though the author claims his primary source to be scripture and church history, this veneer quickly disappears as Whitlock repeatedly appeals to sociological sources, secular literature, cultural needs and personal experience. Whitlock’s resume’ reveals much about the man and his lifelong mission:

Dr. Luder G. Whitlock, Jr – 2nd president of Reformed Theological Seminary (1978-2001)

Executive Director, CNL  Social activism network “committed to developing a better and more flourishing community.”

Executive Director, JMS International social activism network started in 2012 to fulfill the dream of Indian politician Sardar Jagmohan Singh by his son Manu Jagmohan Singh, Secretary General of NRI Institute ( JMS and NRI aim to “create a better world for the underprivileged girl child.” A chief financier of this partnership is Indian-born, British-based business magnate and philanthropist Lord Swraj Paul (,_Baron_Paul), #38 on Britain’s Sunday Times Rich List.

President, Excelsis Inc. Orlando   Organized to cultivate networks of leaders whose integrity and vision will “renew culture and promote human freedom and flourishing.They boast of a “broad” body of classic and thoughtful “writings” designed to “facilitate conversation and reflection around some of society’s most intriguing questions and themes.”

Minister at Large, First Presbyterian Church, Orlando committed to “serving the city.” FPCOrlando currently has 18 session members serving through 2020, of which 4 are female elders. The rising session of 2021 is made up of 7 elders (4 are women) and 14 deacons (9 are women).

Senior Fellow, The Trinity Forum (alongside Karen Swallow Prior)  bio-page: “His years of ministry have been marked by an effort to bring mutual understanding and cooperation within the worldwide evangelical community, leading him to serve on the board of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. He has also participated in several interfaith discussions seeking mutual understanding. He was a leader in establishing the Church Planting Center, which now serves several denominations.”

*For the record- “mutual understanding and cooperation” means unity centered around the “common good” or social justice. No gospel here.

Ligon Duncan continues to promote the ecumenical unity that is essential to the spread of the social gospel – as a board member at The Gospel Coalition, through his influential position at RTS and through associations, conferences and books written by social activists working tirelessly to advance unbiblical unity within the visible church. 

Be warned and warn others.

Book details P&R Publishing

“Unity is a mighty blessing; but it is worthless if it is purchased at the cost of truth. Once more I say, Open your eyes and be on your guard.”   J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)