In researching a book I'm writing on Karl Barth, I found a book of Barth's letters written between 1961 and 1968. The third entry in, I was surprised to find a letter to the late Geoffrey W. Bromiley, one of my professors at Fuller Theological Seminary, who had written Barth on behalf of the editors of this esteemed magazine. Bromiley had included questions from three theologians, but Barth was not pleased: "… they can adopt toward me only the role of prosecuting attorneys, trying to establish whether what I represent agrees or disagrees with their orthodoxy."

Those were the days when Christianity Today felt its job was to grade everyone's theology, as if CT were the evangelical version of the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. While we no longer cross-examine theologians, we still take theology pretty seriously. In each issue of the magazine, we try to run at least two articles—if not more—that directly or indirectly prompt readers to think more deeply about what they believe and why.

For example, in the current issue you'll find an interview with Dinesh D'Souza, who argues in classic apologetics mode that recent scientific advances bolster Christian belief in life after death. The cover story by John Franke is argued theologically—that is, from a perspective that emphasizes the role of revelation versus reason. Franke says that when it comes to convincing others of the uniqueness of Christ, simply witnessing to what has been revealed is the most faithful thing we can do.

While we celebrate theological variety, we still think it our business to call Christians to remain firm on the essentials of faith. This does not mean merely repeating old doctrinal formulas, but presenting ...

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Christianity Today
A Sabbath for Theology
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December 2009

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