Recently Protestant Christians have been warned by at least three writers that their faith is being sabotaged from within by their own theologians. The most detailed warning was given by Charles M. Nielsen, professor of historical theology at Colgate Rochester Divinity School (American Baptist). In an article entitled “The Loneliness of Protestantism,” he said: “Presumably a medical school would be upset if its students became Christian Scientists and wanted to practice their new beliefs instead of medicine in the operating rooms of the university hospital. And a law school might consider it unbecoming to admit hordes of Anabaptists who refused on principle to have anything to do with law courts. But almost nothing (including atheism but excluding such vital matters as smoking) seems inappropriate in some Protestant settings—nothing that is, except the traditions of Christianity and especially Protestantism. Traditions are regarded as ‘square,’ supposedly because they are not new. The modern theologian spends his time huddled over his teletype machine, like a nun breathless with adoration, in the hope that out of the latest news flash he can be the first to pronounce the few remaining shreds of the Protestant tradition ‘irrelevant’ …” (The Christian Century, Sept. 15, 1965).
In the preface to a new paperback edition of his earlier book, The Spirit of Protestantism, Robert McAfee Brown indicates that he too is alarmed by the current trends in Protestant theology. He says: “Much of what is going on at present on the Protestant scene gives the impression of being willing to jettison whatever is necessary in order to appeal to modern mentality.” He goes on to say—and most Protestants will agree with this heartily—that “it is ...1
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