Reforming or Conforming?
- Thursday, November 06, 2008
7. Patterson, “Nein! A Response to Progressives,” 2.
8. Barry Taylor, “Goodbye Religion, Hello Spirituality: Is there a place for the Christian ‘religion’ in the 21st Century?” http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ourofur/archives/2007/03/goodbye_religio_1.html.
9. Roger Olson, “Post-conservatives Greet the Postmodern Age,” The Christian Century 112 (May 3, 1995). Cf. Olson’s Reformed and Always Reforming, 84. Olson proudly flies his post-conservative colors in this book, as the title makes clear. Prior to this, however, Olson claimed otherwise. In his exchange with Mike Horton, Olson declared that he never claimed that he was a “post-conservative” evangelical, saying, “I did not ‘spearhead’ postconservative evangelicalism, nor did I announce it as a ‘program.’ In my descriptive article in Christian Century where I coined that term (‘postconservative evangelicalism’) I merely set out to describe a new mood among certain evangelicals. I said that it is not a movement (let alone a ‘program’). And nowhere did I identify myself as postconservative; in fact I included some cautionary notes at the end of the article. I gladly admit that I have some sympathies with this new mood of evangelical theology that is dissatisfied with maintenance of the status quo as evangelicalism theology’s main task. But I have not promoted any ‘postconservative evangelical program.’ I have simply sought to bring this new mood to public attention and gain some understanding for it. When I wrote that postconservative evangelicals are not necessarily committed to the Chalcedonian formula of Christology I did not mean that they have anything less than a high Christology of Christ as human and divine; I only meant that they are not necessarily committed to the technical language and concepts of the doctrine of the hypostatic union. There are other ways to express a high Christology and some postconservative theologians have attempted to do it without in any way denying Christ’s full and true deity and humanity.” See “The Nature and Future of Evangelicalism: A Dialogue; between Michael Horton & Roger Olson,” Modern Reformation 12, no. 2 (2003), http://www.modernreformation.org/mhro03dial.htm.
10. M. Erickson, The Evangelical Left (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), and his chapter “On Flying in Theological Fog” in Erickson, Helseth, and Taylor, Reclaiming the Center.
11. Olson has displayed an intense dislike for Reformed theology in general and Old Princeton in particular. In one of his most recent books, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), Olson takes umbrage with Warfield’s review of his contemporary, the noted Methodist theologian John Miley, which appears in the Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield II, ed. J. Meeter (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1973), 308–20. Olson calls this “a lengthy attack” (26) and elsewhere a “caustic attack” (278), declaring that Warfield’s criticisms “were stated in such an extreme way as to raise questions about Warfield’s own generosity of interpretation and treatment of fellow Christians. Many twentieth-century Calvinists know little about Arminianism except what they read in nineteenth-century Calvinist theologians Charles Hodge and B. B. Warfield. Both were vitriolic critics who could not bring themselves to see any good in Arminianism. And they blamed it for every possible evil consequence they could see it possibly having” (26). He continues this same diatribe in his recent Reformed and Always Reforming, 44. Cf. my review of Olson, “Calvinists in the Hands of an Angry Arminian,” http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2006/11/calvinists-in-hands-of-angry-arminian.html.
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