Saturday, July 11, 2009

Barth and North American evangelicals

On Ben Myer's blog, Faith and Theology, there is a guest post from Christian D. Kettler, which is an obituary for Ray S. Anderson (1925-2009), a long-time Professor at Fuller Seminary.

There was one paragraph that really got my attention and I would like to learn more about:
Anderson provides an interesting case study of American evangelicalism at mid-twentieth century when some were trying to provide an intellectual alternative not only to fundamentalism but to the rationalistic theology that was presented by such early Fuller Seminary professors like Carl F. H. Henry. Anderson’s critique of Henry is very telling and insightful. Anderson’s place, and often a controversial place, in the modern history of Fuller Seminary modern American evangelicalism, is very much worthwhile for further study, when he and Geoffrey Bromiley sought to present Karl Barth’s theology to a Fuller evangelicalism often more interested promoting a Christian “worldview” or church growth techniques than to learn from Barth a radical evangelical theology and to build upon it.
This partly got my interest because in my AACC talk/paper I characterised Henry and Cornelius van Til as reductionist because of their emphasis on reason and propositional statements and it was suggested to me that this was a "cheap shot". It is true I need to read them more carefully. Afterall, I get upset about the way people who have not really read Barth characterise him...

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