Summer 1968

Page 31

DOCTRINAL SURVEY IV

The strange paradox about theology is that, although it is formally concerned with the truth about God, it has always developed in response to the needs of men. So much has this been the case in the past that some theologians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer have vigorously protested against any kind of conception of God as an answer to human problems. They say that man must come of age. He must shoulder his own Some recent theories on the burdens. He must face up to nature of human freedom, his responsibilities. God is in his heaven; it is up to man its relation to actual to manage the earth. It is useand habitual grace less for human beings, like spoiled, sniveling children, to run crying to God. + If the error of the past was, in the words of John Calvin, CHARLES R. MEYER that "gross stupidity gripped the whole world," and made it "pant after visible figures of God," {Institutes, l, xi, 1) if the world in ages gone by has been nothing but a giant idol factory, the error of the present is just the opposite--God has been banished from the world. Whether from a recrudescence of deism or an overzealous application of the Protestant principle, the breach between God and man is growing ever wider. And as a result theology is giving way to anthropology.

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