Legalism vs. Liberalism vs. Gospel – A Helpful Chart about Staying on the Line

Kevin Halloran

Content Specialist, USA / Latin America
October 05, 2020

The hermeneutical principle called “Staying on the Line” teaches the biblical truth that God wants us to take Him at His Word, not adding to what He has said or subtracting from it.

To truly stay on the line of God’s Word, we need to understand the what (the content) and also the why (the intent) of Scripture. When we fail to adequately understand each of those, we find ourselves on shifting ground, prone to both legalism and liberalism.

I recently came across a helpful chart that shares theological examples of how legalism and liberalism may manifest themselves. (Gospel in the chart is interchangeable with The Word of God.)

*This helpful chart is from Romans 1–7 For You by Timothy Keller, copyright 2014 by The Good Book Company, used by kind permission.


More Resources