Friday, 3 February 2006

Donald Bloesch on evangelical theology

“I believe that modern evangelicalism is hampered by being pre-critical, pre-Kantian and pre-Barthian. Helmut Thielicke refers to a Cartesian way of doing theology, in which the credibility of theology is made to rest on rational consistency and clarity of ideas rather than fidelity to biblical revelation.”

—Donald Bloesch, “Donald Bloesch Responds,” in Evangelical Theology in Transition: Theologians in Dialogue with Donald Bloesch (Downers Grove: IVP, 1999), p. 189.

4 Comments:

Rory Shiner said...

Interesting...

T.B. Vick said...

Ben,
Have you read Donald Bloesch's book titled Essentials of Evangelical Theology?

I was wondering if it was any good or not. CBD has it on sale right now for $14.99 and its a two volumes in one book.

Ben Myers said...

Hi TB -- yes, his Essentials of Evangelical Theology is well worth getting. I've read this as well as his 7-volume dogmatics ("Christian Foundations"), and I think Essentials is actually the better work: it's sharp, concise and direct, and it has a real prophetic edge that is more muted in the "Christian Foundations" series.

I don't think Bloesch is a first-rate theologian (e.g. his work is totally lacking in exegesis), but more often than not I still agree with his conclusions. His books contain massive amounts of synthesised scholarship, so you always get a lot of useful information from them.

Perhaps Bloesch's most significant contribution is that he has been very influential in introducing Karl Barth's theology to North American evangelicals. He has also helped to open many evangelicals to more ecumenical and more "modern" approaches to theology. And his work has especially helped those people (myself included) who want to find ways to be "evangelical" without being "fundamentalist".

So anyway: yes, at $14.99, it would be a crime not to get his Essentials of Evangelical Theology.

T.B. Vick said...

Well, I don't want to commit any crimes, so I'll get the book!

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