Honored to be chosen as a designated hitter among those responsible for this journal, I bring warm greetings from the postliberal underground. As one who unapologetically teaches the texts of classical Christianity in a secularizing university, I know how refreshing it is to repair to CT for a ration of sanity.

Saint Basil expressed what I feel when he wrote that “the athlete does not so much complain of being wounded in the struggle as of not being able even to secure admission into the stadium.” I am grateful for admission into this invigorating evangelical arena.

Still echoing in the halls of the university in which I teach are the sounds of esteemed evangelical teachers. My office at Drew University has for many years been lodged in the room where James Strong labored over his Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and where he held his seminars. Few books are still in print after 100 years. Strong’s enormous achievement continues to live on beyond all the devastations of pretentious modern criticism.

When I studied under Richard Niebuhr at Yale, my heart was atuned to every breeze of contemporary theology. For the first two decades of my work as a theologian, I attempted desperately to find some modern ideology, psychology, politics, or sociology that could conveniently substitute for the method and content of classical Christian teaching. That is what I sincerely understood “theology” to be, focused as I was on theology since last Wednesday.

For me the final whistle has blown on that game. Over a decade ago, I committed myself to an orthodox agenda for theology. Readers of my pastoral or systematic theology will find themselves up to their armpits in references to the Christian writers of the first millennium. The footnotes ...

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