In some fifty current periodicals, one theme paces the field: neo-orthodoxy. Qumram takes second place; church union, third; and the ordination of women, “also ran.” We restrict our observations to this topic.
Theology Today has devoted virtually its whole issue (October 1956) to an American literary celebration of Karl Barth’s seventieth birthday. Princeton Seminary’s president, Dr. John A. Mackay, honors the Basler as his deliverer from the traditional view of biblical inspiration. “How liberating it has been for Christian faith—mine and that of a multitude of others—that a high view of Holy Scripture and the reality of biblical authority is not bound up with the genetic or historical problem of the composition of the books!”
Dr. Norman F. Langford (Secretary of the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.) finds Barth still more liberating. “He has shown me that theology can never come to repose in a fixed orthodoxy—not even a neo-orthodoxy!—but must ever be moving on with no knowledge of where the journey will lead.”
¶ Some able articles on Barth, as well as additional testimonies to him, are found in this issue. Of special value for the sheer understanding of Barth is Arthur C. Cochrane’s summarization of Kirchliche Dogmatik, Vol. IV, Part 2, entitled “The Doctrine of Sanctification.” One general emphasis found here and elsewhere is that Barth’s theological shift in recent years has been from transcendence to incarnation (or transcendence viewed in relation to man).
This “shift” has led some to think Barth is becoming more evangelical, and that thinking in turn led Dr. Cornelius Van Til ...1
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