What Is Orthodoxy?

The Case for a New Reformation Theology, by William Hordern (Westminster Press, 1959, 173 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by Robert D. Knudsen, Instructor in Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Westminster Press is currently sponsoring an interesting discussion between what it feels are the three major options in Protestant theology. The first volume presents the orthodox position: The Case for Orthodox Theology, by E. J. Carnell. The next volume presents the liberal position: The Case for Theology in Liberal Perspective, by L. H. DeWolf. The volume before us deals with the so-called neo-orthodox or kerygmatic theology. The discussion is the more interesting because the discussants did not know each other’s identity. They were only acquainted with the general plan of the series, and they were left to develop their arguments alone.

William Hordern is well qualified to represent the kerygmatic position. Over a period of years he has been in close contact with it. He is also the author of at least one other book on contemporary theology, A Layman’s Guide to Protestant Theology.

At the center of his treatment is what he considers to be the major contribution of neo-orthodoxy, its idea of revelation. After a short review of the background of the newer theology, he proceeds to a discussion of faith and reason, of the nature of revelation, and of how we can know revelation is revelation. The second part of the book broadly treats the scope of theology under the headings of God, sin, and salvation. After a conclusion, the author presents a short bibliography of writings from the kerygmatic standpoint.

Hordern’s discussion is able. His presentation is clear, to the point, and helpful. There are many things in ...

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