Three well-known American religious spokesmen here discuss implications and overtones of current God-is-dead speculation. They are Dr. Gordon H. Clark, head of the philosophy department at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana; Dr. Russell V. DeLong, Nazarene educator and evangelist, who served as president of colleges in California and Idaho for nineteen years; and Dr. Bernard Ramm, professor of Christian theology at California Baptist Theological Seminary in Covina, California. Moderator of the discussion is Editor Carl F. H. Henry of CHRISTIANITY TODAY. The panel is one of thirteen produced by Educational Communication Association in the series “God and Man in the Twentieth Century,” offered for public-service television use.
Henry: Gentlemen, I think you will recall a statement by Dietrich Bonhoeffer written shortly after the Nazis had imprisoned him. In his Letters and Papers from Prison, Bonhoeffer writes that man has now learned to cope with all questions of importance without recourse to God as a working hypothesis. Of course, Bonhoeffer is referring especially to science and to art and to ethics; but he adds that for the last one hundred years this has been increasingly true of religious questions also. It is becoming evident, he says, that everything gets along without God and just as well as before. Now, will anyone dispute this assertion, that much of modern life has experienced what some of the death-of-God theologians call “the eclipse of God”?
Clark: This phrase, “the death of God,” is a little silly if you think of the supreme God ceasing to exist. But it is to the credit of these men, and particularly Professor Gabriel Vahanian of Syracuse University, that they describe very accurately the secularism ...1
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