On Speaking Terms Again
Christianity Divided, symposium ed. by Daniel J. Callahan and Heiko A. Oberman (Sheed & Ward, 1961, 335 pp., $6), is reviewed by John Frederick Jansen, Professor of New Testament and Acting Dean, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas.
In a time when some factors have widened the breach between Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians (e.g., the dogma of the Assumption), it is heartening to see some signs also of increased openness and understanding. Not long ago appeared An American Dialogue, written by Robert McAfee Brown and Father Gustave Weigel, in which a Protestant interpreted Catholicism and a Roman Catholic interpreted Protestantism. The present volume brings together some significant Protestant and Roman Catholic articles under five major headings: Scripture and tradition, hermeneutics, church, sacraments, and justification. (A sign of the irenic spirit of the volume can be seen in the proportion of eight Protestant articles to five Roman Catholic articles in a book published by a Roman Catholic press.) The book aims to sample the kind of conversation that has been going on in Europe for some time and which only recently has begun in this country. The articles range in date from an early essay of Barth in 1927 to a recent one of Father Weigel in 1961.
(1) The discussion on Scripture and tradition is begun by Oscar Cullmann of Basel. First printed in the Scottish Journal of Theology, his article seeks to interpret the canon of Scripture in terms of the uniqueness of the apostolate and the manner in which the Church of the second century realized that tradition must be grounded on the witness of the “period of direct revelation.” Cullmann’s article is itself ...1
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