Scholarship on early-twentieth-century American Protestant modernism appears to have arrived at an impasse. Although scholars continue to explore the biographical contours of modernist individuals, and theologians still review the capacity of modernist theologies, the body of analytical scholarship on the “modernist impulse” has failed to keep apace with the glut of materials addressing its fraternal twin, fundamentalism. Published in 1976, William Hutchison's The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism remains the last significant historical commentary on the cultural and intellectual dynamics of Protestant modernism. In that masterful exegesis, Hutchison supplied the classic definition of this impulse, arguing that despite the diversity of its participants and complexity of their thought, the modernist movement in America could be accurately summarized as a shared commitment to cultural adaptation, God's immanent role in human development, and a postmillennial progressivism. While this tripartite formulation still provides the authoritative elucidation of early-twentieth-century Protestant thought, a reappraisal of the modernist canon reveals that Christian liberals not only were invested in theological overhaul and intellectual malleability, but also persistently specified an elaborate methodological structure for belief. In works such as Minot Savage's Jesus and Modern Life (1898), Margaret Benson's The Venture of Rational Faith (1908), Douglas Clyde Macintosh's Theology as an Empirical Science (1919), J. Macbride Sterrett's Modernism in Religion (1922), and Henry Nelson Wieman's The Wrestle of Religion with Truth (1927), seminarians and ministers offered detailed descriptions of how Protestants should think in the modern era. These were not expansive tracts bent on exploring the fluid boundaries of faith in a plural culture; rather, these were precise, pointed exhortations on the virtue of scrupulous historical research, scriptural comparison, and relentless self-examination. Rather than continue to translate Protestant modernism as cultural acquiescence and enthusiastic historicism, this essay suggests that a recalibrated portrait of this movement is needed.