This world has never before changed so widely and deeply as in our time. Changes have taken place in politics and government, economics and industry, trade and travel, communication and education, customs and traditions, opinions and beliefs. Scarcely anyone would venture to predict what may mark the remaining decades of this century.
Our concern is with theology in this changing scene. How has theology fared in this changing world? What has theology to contribute to this changing world?
Fortunes Of Theology
How has theology fared? It too has been marked by change. For theology has been a growing science. It did not spring full-grown as Minerva from the head of Jove. It has come through a long development.
This development has not been due to slow invention. For the materials of theology were not invented by men. They were God-given. The truth with which theology deals was furnished to faith in creation and revelation. The task of the theologian has been that of “exhibiting the facts of Scripture in their proper order and relation, with the principles and general truths involved in the facts themselves, and which pervade and harmonize the whole.” Slowly the data have been collected, interpreted and correlated.
Theological dogmas have long been in disfavor. I shall never forget Theodore L. Cuyler’s address the year I entered Union Seminary, Virginia. Referring to the growing dislike of dogma, he warned the faculty against relaxing their emphasis upon it. Raising himself to tiptoe, he shouted, “Invertebrate these young gentlemen!” I had never before heard the word “invertebrate” used as a verb meaning to put vertebrae or backbone into people.
Is the old theology still good theology? Has it been antiquated and invalidated by the ...1
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