Religious professionals took the lead in crucifying Jesus of Nazareth; now they are conspiring to kill the Living God also.
Standing by, consenting, and in fact strongly advocating the death of God, are numerous theologians. In Christian schools they seek to rally a task force of confirmed God-slayers. The ranks include Altizer at Emory University (Methodist), Hamilton at Colgate Rochester Divinity School (Baptist), and in some respects Van Buren at Temple University (interdenominational).
A full public hearing of their views is encouraged by the ecumenical Sanhedrin. Their faith-and-order dialogue easily and swiftly seems to embrace almost every theological novelty. Meanwhile, it largely ignores traditional evangelical views or disdains them as heresy—the sole heresy-at that—even though biblical supernaturalism is not only the historic faith of Christianity but also the sincere faith of most churchgoers.
Conflict over the supernaturalism of the Bible is age-old. In the ancient world, both Judaism and Christianity contended constantly against polytheistic myths. In the Middle Ages, a mist of scholastic speculation and popular superstition often beclouded the Living God. Aided by this climate, modern philosophers swiftly recast the God of the Bible to suit their many rationalistic preferences. One anti-biblical theory quickly encouraged another, until Marx dramatically countered Hegel’s God is everything with the atheistic credo: God is nothing, and dialectical materialism everything.
Although anti-supernaturalism is not new, Christian leaders like Billy Graham, Charles Malik, and D. Elton Trueblood remind us that the tide of atheism is rising to unprecedented heights with alarming speed.
“Never in my life,” writes Trueblood, ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more