One of the crucial problems that confronts the Church today and always is the relationship between theology and Church. Theology has always had a profound influence upon the Church. From the lecturn of the academy by way of the pulpit of the Church, all sorts of theological ideas have shaped the life of congregations. Religious liberalism arose first in theology and then by way of the preachers entered the life stream of the family of God. I recall the case of a Dutch professor who became convinced that the universe was shut up in a cause-effect system of natural law which was unbreakable. In such a world, he insisted, miracles were impossible. Hence, he told his students that, if they were to be honest men, they would frankly tell the congregations they served that Jesus Christ did not arise from the dead. Theology and Church.…
It is understandable, then, that we encounter the notion here and there that theology in the scientific sense can only be a hindrance to the faith of the Church. Theology is a subtle stumbling block, it is said, to the simple believer. Besides, theology always threatens to rule over the Church. Germany, as we all know, is the scene of much discussion about the demythologizing program spurred by Rudolph Bultmann. The New Testament, claims Bultmann, is dominated by a mythical view of the world in which the stories of the incarnation, the ascension, the resurrection, and the return of Jesus Christ are at home. But even as we all reject the mythical world view of the Bible, we must reject these stories that go with it. Who cannot see that this discussion is far more than an academic game. The heart of God’s Church is involved here.
Once again, then, is not scientific theology a danger which the Church ...1
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