return to religion-onlineOther Theologians
Marsden’s Jonathan Edwards will be remembered less as a biography and more as a period piece from the "evangelical surge" in American academic culture, but let us hope it cultivates and encourages up-and-coming evangelicals to write a biography that Jonathan Edwards richly deserves.
The issue in Christian theology is not reflection or action, belief or life style, but both together -- an incarnational religion really has no other choice. God himself in a lowly man, Jesus of Nazareth, meant that human life in all its problematic, historical, ambiguous reality is the realm of the truly significant.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A clear statement of Hartshorne’s "Process Theology" in lay terms. Hartshorne enthusiastically adopts Whitehead’s view of the universe as essentially one of perpetual change and becoming, and relates this concept to traditional Christian theology.
Moltmann feels that the future of the Protestant church in Europe lies not with the large state church, but with small communities of faith, where the charismatic gifts of all can be recognized, and where Christians can live out a radical discipleship. In this interview he discusses the development of his theology, his interest in the international Pentecostal movement and his participation in the Christian-Marxist dialogue of the 60s.
The quest in which Albert Schweitzer was involved inevitably forced his intellectual and moral concerns to move beyond traditional theism. It was his belief that the ethic of reverence for life is not dependent upon a belief in God.
Christianity should not be understood apart from the believer’s capacity for "repentance," "hope" and "despair". Emotions, therefore, play an important part in the process of understanding Christianity
Jonathan Edwards is interesting for contemporary theologians because he developed a balance of brilliant intellectual honesty, fidelity to the biblical traditions, and an openness to new insight brought by personal experience.
Emil Brunner’s version of neo-orthodoxy was enormously influential in the postwar years. His approach to Christology, revelation, ethics and the church has entered our theological consciousness.
Panikkar on Christianity, Asian religions, and the need for inter-religious dialogue. The crisis today is not that of one country, one model, one religion; it is a crisis of humanity.
(ENTIRE BOOK) These chapters present a criticsl discussion among eminent philosophers, theologians, and Hartshorne himself on Hartshorne’s method, his logic, his theism and his metaphysics. Both proponents and critics of this honored philosopher contribute essays to this volume, and Hartshorne writes extensive response to each writer.
A significant shift in Odgen's recent thinking has been from being preoccupied for the most part with theoretical questions of belief and truth to giving greater attention to the practical issues of action and justice that likewise have their basis in the underlying concern for freedom.
Feuerbach thought he had unmasked all religions, showing them to be products of human imagination and desire. Christian theologians should not simply ignore Feuerbach’s claims about the subjective roots of religion. Perhaps it is possible to argue that Mother Teresa believes in a God who just gives her what she wants. But it strains our credulity.
The conventional and provisionally accurate assessment of Teilhard recognizes him as a master synthesis-builder, one whose vision of the whole included an easy coalition of science, religion and poetic imagination.
(ENTIRE BOOK) The relationship of man with the contemporary God. Man’s conditions of life, his perceptions and outlook, his attitude of mind, both toward himself and toward any possible Creator, have all changed so enormously in the last sixty or seventy years that we face an almost a new situation.
On the Christian calendar Easter is a feast of gladness. Grief turns into jubilation. Bitter defeat becomes exuberant hope. Even those who walk in the valley of the shadow of death know they need fear no evil.
Christian theology does not belong solely in the circle of people who are "insiders." It belongs just as much to the people who feel that they are "outside the gate," for the atheist cannot get away from God whose existence they must deny in order to be atheists.
What account ought to be given of Heidegger's official and unofficial relation to Nazism and the trends of thought and belief which found culmination in the movement? Given the character of Heidegger’s life, I cannot see how that life recommends his proposals for how we ought to order our own lives.
Much has been written on Heidegger's Nazi past, but R. Safranski's new book gives us the most complete, accurate and fair account to date. Heidegger makes us think in fresh and helpful ways despite his Nazi connections.
Jürgen Moltmann gives a rigorous critique of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical on hope, Spe Salvi: the pope limits hope to the blessedness of souls in eternal life, leaving out the prophetic promises of the Old testament. Christian hope becomes hard to differentiate from a Gnostic religion of salvation. Passion for the liberation of the oppressed and for the rights of the humiliated are missing.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, scientist and Christian mystic, draws on his background in both science and theology to present a unique harmonizing of their often divergent attempts to define and understand reality.
(ENTIRE BOOK) This book is addressed to both believers and unbelievers and examines a number of areas of religious thought and practice including an approach to intelligible religion, the fundamentals of religious experience, the existence and nature of God, the problem of good and evil, the meaning of the supernatural and of future life, the significance of Christ, the Church, the Bible, miracles and prayer.
(ENTIRE BOOK) An historical presentation of the teachings of Jesus in the setting of the thought of his own time. There is here a summary of Bultmann's controversial method of Biblical interpretation, which tries to recover the deeper meaning behind the mythological concepts of the New Testament.
There is no reason why preparation for parish ministry should not be taught by people who have been trained in and who exhibit the soundest scholarship.
It is primarily his creative views on ecclesiology that have gotten Brazil’s liberation theologian, Leonardo Boff, into trouble with the Vatican. Although his ban has been lifted, Vatican conservatives still have reason to fear his influence.
A review of Harry Emerson Fosdick: Preacher, Pastor, Prophet, by Robert Moats Miller. Fosdick’s life, including his let-downs, put-downs and come-downs, is explored with great sensitivity, insight and attentiveness to the personal and domestic spheres.
A review of a recent biography of Martin Luther.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A comprehensive, richly documented research into Martin Buber’s philosophical and theological teachings and his influence upon philophers and theologians of his times.
Luther took a high risk in identifying Paul’s message as an emphatic naysaying to everything in humanity that strives for favor and grace. The loss which came with that risk is evident in the debris of Lutheran cultures today.
Theologian Miroslav Volf is unusual in many settings. He is a Pentecostal among evangelicals, a mainline Christian among evangelicals, and an evangelical in the mainline. Growing up, he was a Christian among communists.
Augustine was astonished to see Bishop Ambrose reading silently, and in private. This was a new style. Reading was nothing short of salvific for Augustine. Books had the power to heal and to transform.
For Langdon Gilkey, Augustine of Hippo was not just a great classical mind, but a seminal theologian (and philosopher) whose work has influenced much of western thought to the present. His legacy forms the groundwork for many contemporary disciplines including psychology, history, political science, natural science and epistemology, as well as all of Roman Catholic theology.
Christian theology has been wrong about Israel, the people of God, and therefore to that extent wrong about the God of Israel, wrong about the God and Father of Jesus Christ. The Jewish faith does not give an "indirect witness to Jesus Christ," but a fully historical living tradition, constituting a quite direct witness to the God of Israel.
According to the author, theologian Raimundo Panikkar addresses himself to issues of cultural and religious diversity "in a refreshingly tough-minded way" -- a way that affirms pluralism without attenuating the particularities of Christian faith.
Once in Africa, Schweitzer gradually came to understand what well may be the most important mistake made by the Europeans (and Americans) since the rise of Western civilization -- namely, their pride in their superindustrialized "mastery" over the forces of Nature, a much-vaunted control which is leading to the destruction of our biosphere.
Rudolf Bultmann’s theology helped to keep many individuals within the great tradition of faith in the eternal God, the God revealed in the crisis of the gospel of Christ; for in the jargon, although his work was to "demythologize," he refused to "dekerygmatize."
Most Protestants have rejected Thomas Aquinas as being too Catholic. Dr. Renick reviews two books presenting Thomist views in a better light for Protestants.
Loren Eisely, in his autobiography, says: “I who profess no religion find the whole of my life a religious pilgrimage.” What does it mean to say that the religious chord does not sound in someone, but that the person vibrates to the concerns historically related to religion?
(ENTIRE BOOK) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest, paleontologist and Christian mystic. This collection of his essays reveals his concepts of "social heredity" and progress, "the planetization of mankind," and the Noosphere -- a biological interpretation of human history. Teilhard was prevented by the church from publishing his work while he remained alive.
A man for all seasons, Fosdick speaks as clearly to us today as he did at the height of his influence. For forty years he was at the forefront of theological and social thinking and controversy. He brought to his country a prophetic voice of reasoned faith and enlightened hope. He teaches us that personal and social experiences are equally important and that both should form the crucible of authentic faith.
UK theologian David Ford is interviewed. Wisdom demands an integration of rigorous thought with imagination and practical concerns -- how things actually work out in living life.
For Cox the main thesis of The Secular City is still valid: that the secular, "nonreligious" world is also the sphere of God’s judging and freeing action. The movement of God in Christ is always toward this world, and the mission of the church and of the Christian is to move in the same direction.
Nothing is more clear in the light of history, than this: new political, economic and ecclesiastical machinery does not alone solve problems; it creates problems, and, above all, it puts a strain on moral foundations, on spiritual resources, that must successfully be met or the best-laid plans come down in ruin.
Creation and redemption are so close together in Fox’s work that his social programs are almost inevitably simplistic.
Langdon Gilkey recognized that if theological discourse is to be meaningful today, it must be grounded in ordinary experience.
All of us alike face the same issue of understanding our own tradition in the light of our modem cultural and social situations -- only let us, in assaying that problem, not forget the present precariousness, the moral temptations and the religious requirements of that infinitely risky modern situation!
It can hardly remain hidden that the American system of competition, domination and violence, of sexism and oppression, carefully programming us by the pattern of the marketplace and subliminally driven into us by advertising, inhibits, to say the least, our walking as men and women of love and hope.
For theologians like Gordon Kaufman, we know what we value for the universe and for human life, and we pick the religious symbols that best serve those ends.
Thomas Merton was himself a man who lived on the edge: the edge of great realization and great compassion, the edge of the future that was also the edge of his own growth -- a growth directed toward ever-increasing personal and global apprehension of the depths of God. His great concerns offer us and our churches a very useful litmus test or checklist by which to sort out all the possibilities that come at us in parish life.
Thomas Merton was one of those rare persons who could step back from the traditional ways of life to see life from a detached point of view, who was able to turn the marginality of life into a presence of importance for the whole church.
The author reviews a book by Stanley Hauerwas: When Hauerwas asserts that liberal Christians are those who take "humans, not God, as the center of Christian faith," or when he says that one of "the most cherished conceits of modernity" is that "humans are the measure of all that is," he reveals that he has not thought hard enough about what liberalism and modernity mean to their proponents.
Who has a greater claim to Zwingli’s military activist heritage -- fundamentalist militarists in the United States or liberation theologians and radical priests in Latin America?. Does God ever approve our endorsement of and participation in violence for “just” ends? Or may we judge that Zwingli was entirely wrong to take up the sword in the name of Christ against those he viewed as oppressors?
Albert Schweitzer’s curious claims lead one to wonder what he means by mysticism and whether, in the face of being variously labeled "idealist," "rationalist," "existentialist" and "radical" free-thinker, he is a mystic after all.
Luther seemed unaware of the best Catholic antidote to the Pelagianizing tendencies of Biel -- the thought of Thomas Aquinas. Although Aquinas has never been considered a top theologian by Protestants, more Protestant theologians are opening their ranks to his thoughts.