Saturday 1 July 2006

Dogmatics and ethics

“Our theological discussion has ... been divided into a conservative insistence on the dogmatic tradition, and a liberal repudiation of dogmatic content in exchange for an ethic of shared humanity. We are thus falling back into the worst tradition of the nineteenth century, in which conservative theologians were wont to be conservative in politics also, and the liberals believed themselves obliged to discard dogma in exchange for humanism. But this means tearing asunder things that belong together. Every article of the confession of faith has explosive and aggressive significance for the status quo of the old world, and an article that leaves our relationship ... to society as it was, is not worthy to be an article of the Christian faith.”

Helmut Gollwitzer, The Rich Christians and Poor Lazarus (New York: Macmillan, 1970), p. 3.

1 Comment:

Looney said...

1970? The cold war was raging and there was the divide between those who thought Communism evil and those who could only find things wrong with Capitalism. That era is gone now, but it might be worthwhile to revisit who said what, how they argued their positions, and was the final conclusion of the matter.

In the US, the social programs that were compelled by the Poor Lazarus argument are usually credited with a major social breakdown of the family structure of the poor. Others can cite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Regardless, cups of water given in the name of Jesus were quite rare.

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