Monday, July 31, 2006

Neo-orthodox Theology

Another distinctive trait is Neo-orthodox Theology. A person encounters many problems when their theology is based around feelings and not upon the Bible. That is a major problem that I see in this theology. Notice how many claims this theology makes that are outside of Scripture. Once again our study comes from the booklet Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine by H. Wayne House.

Neo-orthodox Theology

Theology-Neo-orthodoxy is more a hermeneutic than it is a complete systematic theology. It reacted against late-nineteenth-century liberalism and strove to retain essence of Reformation theology while still adapting to contemporary issues. It is a theology of encounter between God and men.

God-God is wholly transcendent except when he chooses to reveal himself to man. God is totally sovereign over and free from creation. God cannot be known through proofs (Kierkegaard). God cannot be known through objective doctrine but through an experience of revelation.

Christ-Christ as manifested Scripture is the Christ of faith, not necessarily the historical Jesus. Christ is the revelation of God. The important Christ is the one experienced by the individual. Christ was not virgin-born (Brunner). Christ is the symbol of the new being in which all that estranges people from God is dissolved (Tillich).

Revelation-God’s revelation to man through his Word is threefold. Jesus is the Word made flesh. Scripture points to the Word. Preaching proclaims the Word made flesh.

The Bible contains the Word of God. The Word is revealed by the Spirit as the Bible and Christ are proclaimed. The Bible is human and fallible and is reliable only to the extent that God reveals himself through encounters with Scripture. Historicity of Scripture is unimportant. Creation account is a myth (Niebuhr) or a saga (Barth).

Salvation-Man is completely sinful and can be saved only by God’s grace. The Word produces a crisis decision between the rebellion of sin and the grace of God. Only by faith can a person choose God’s grace in this crisis and receive salvation. All mankind is elect in Christ (Barth). There is no such thing as inherited sin from Adam (Brunner). Man sins by choice, not because of nature. (Brunner). Sin is self-centeredness (Brunner). Sin is social injustice and fear (Niebuhr). Salvation is commitment to God in a blind “leap of faith” while in despair (Kierkegaard).

-Eternal punishment and hell are not realities (Brunner).

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