It has come to me on good authority that my IQ is, or was, 152. I report this to you not with any pride nor with undue modesty, but only to be able to say that I get about as much out of my theology reading as the next fellow; and what I get I do not necessarily understand; and I grow depressed sometimes by the endless assignment, and the confusions and alarums.

The mass of material in modern theology is utterly appalling. For fifteen years I taught theology in a seminary, and even now I try, as they say, to “keep up.” For three weeks steady this summer I have been swatting away again at Tillich, and I am not only incapable of keeping up, I am incapable of catching up. “Everybody talking about heaven ain’t going there,” and I am getting highly suspicious of some experts I know, and especially of recent seminary graduates, who speak authoritatively and glibly about Tillich, Bultmann, Barth, Brunner, Bonhoeffer, Niebuhr, and the like. I do not believe (a) that they read these men in quantity and (b) that they have studied them enough to make valid judgments. There simply isn’t and hasn’t been enough time.

I think we have reached a very striking plateau in theology. John and Don Baillie have passed on, as has Richard Niebuhr. Bonhoeffer was destroyed years ago by Hitler. Barth, Brunner, Bultmann, H. H. Farmer, Whale, Flew, Raven, Dodd, Micklem, Tillich, and Reinhold Niebuhr are nearly all well into their seventies, and a couple of them are in their eighties. Back of these men who have dominated theological thinking I look in vain for those who are filling up the gaps. Here and there I hear of a great new “find” in theology, but I see nothing comparable to what we have known ...

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