A survey such as this is beset with difficulties, since it requires certain necessary and somewhat arbitrary limitations. In this case the bounds have been set by considering theological works of the more philosophical and apologetic nature. No attempt has been made to include books in the fields of biblical theology and Christian ethics.
The year showed evidence in several ways of a growing concern with the kerygmatic theology of Rudolf Bultmann. For a brief but clear and thoughtful introduction to Bultmann, Existentialism and Theology (Philosophical Library) by George W. Davis, is unexcelled. Bultmann is endeavoring to show the world that Christianity is not myth but “fact productive of a tremendous faith in God’s loving concern and activity” (p. 31). Yet, Bultmann believes that the “New Testament myth” obscures the Gospel for the modern, scientifically brain-washed mind. That is, the kerygma must not be confused with the mythical world view of biblical times in which it is clothed and expressed. For example, as Professor Davis points out, to Bultmann the death of Christ on the cross for our sins is biblical myth—meaningless to modern man; but the idea of the sacrifice of the cross being existentially present and breaking the power of sin in personal life is the good news of Christianity. You may not agree with Bultmann but Davis makes clear what he is trying to do.
Under the title, The Doctrine of God (Vol. II, Part 1, Scribner’s), another section of Karl Barth’s monumental Dogmatik has been made available to us in English. Without doubt that decision to make Barth’s magnum opus available in English represents a major theological event of our day. And whether or not one agrees with Barth does not alter the fact that for ...1
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