Once again, R.C. Sproul is talking specifically about the evangelical church, not the liberal church is this article, as is clearly stated near the article’s beginning.
I’ve often wondered if Luther were alive today and came to our culture and looked, not at the liberal church community, but at evangelical churches, what would he have to say? Of course I can’t answer that question with any kind of definitive authority, but my guess is this: If Martin Luther lived today and picked up his pen to write, the book he would write in our time would be entitled The Pelagian Captivity of the Evangelical Church.
His point is that a doctrine of salvation by works has so completely captivated the evangelical church (let alone the liberal church) that the Reformed doctrine of salvation by grace alone has almost been extinguished. And, the issue that sits squarely at the center of this doctrinal error is sin, again from the Sproul article.
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.
None of us wants to see things as bad as they really are. The biblical doctrine of human corruption is grim. We don’t hear the Apostle Paul say, “You know, it’s sad that we have such a thing as sin in the world; nobody’s perfect. But be of good cheer. We’re basically good.” Do you see that even a cursory reading of Scripture denies this?
The tragic fact is that postmodern Christianity has claimed these fantasy islands of human righteousness and built upon them illusory cathedrals dedicated to the human creativity, adaptability and raw will to power that underlies the reimagining of God. They are no longer bound to the authority of Scripture, but rather by the authority of their own beliefs and feelings. And, the point at which they have successfully discredited anyone who dares to oppose them is in the issue of sin.