Indispensable to understanding the advent and import of today's radically pluralistic scene, this unique historical anthology presents thirty- seven signal readings from key theologians of this century.
Outstanding interpreters of these figures and their generative ideas, Braaten and Jenson offer solid and sympathetic introductions and a clear scheme, a roadmap that makes sense of the fundamental and formative questions, concerns, "schools," and movements that have animated the theological enterprise in this explosive century from 1900 right up to the threshold of contemporary currents.
In this new edition, Braaten takes stock of the research and reflection of the last twenty-five years and also adds a chapter on the distinctive, Archimedean Lutheran insight into the hiddenness of God as a fount or ground of all theologizing. This new edition, cross-referenced to key readings in Luther's Works and The Book of Concord, will both equip and facilitate the search for a contemporary articulation of Christian identity in light of the church's historic commitments.
Robert W. Jenson examines communio ecclesiology, describing ecumenical thought on this ecclesiology and developing it in a number of areas. David S. Yeago proposes a new way of reading Luther, suggesting that the shift in Luther's thought actually brought him closer to the church's catholic tradition. Frank C. Senn discusses the Reformers' changes to the order of the mass, which restored the people's participation and regular preaching on biblical texts. Carl E. Braaten explores the problems that arise from the lack of an office of teaching authority in Protestant churches. James R. Crumley examines various perspectives on the office of pastor, seeking to clarify the notion of ministry in the catholic tradition. Robert L. Wilken looks at Pietism, showing that this movement sought to recover lost aspects of medieval spirituality and called for a deepening of personal piety. Finally, Gunther Gassmann discusses the ways in which the church universal is and should be a communion of churches.
Quoting Augustine's dictum that "You cannot have God for your father unless you have the church for your mother, " Braaten writes of the church's place in the divine scheme of things and of the various modernisms that distort or hide the classical Christian tradition. Tracing his own ecumenical journey, he outlines an ecclesiology of communion and advances specific proposals for enhancing Christian unity in liturgy, spirituality, and church polity. The confessing movement named after Martin Luther he views in terms of its basic intent to reform and renew the church, not to start a new Christianity in a multiplicity of separate denominations.
Vigorous, provocative, well and clearly argued, Braaten's case is a formidable and timely contribution to the ecumenical debate.
The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other orthodox Christians did for their times and places. In this addition to the series, esteemed theologian Robert W. Jenson presents a theological exegesis of Ezekiel.
In sharp contrast to the older style of doing theology to bolster a particular denominational tradition or the newer style that revises the Christian faith to conform to modern culture, the ecumenical orthodoxy that emerges here does theology out of the common biblical and creedal mainstream of the Christian tradition. Braaten focuses on the core of Christianity -- faith in Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. He applies the criterion of Christ to many questions of Christian theology today, pointing the way to a more complete and foundational theology for every modern Christian.
Since the study group that produced this statement was instituted and its participants were chosen by an independent ecumenical foundation, the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, their unofficial work presents especially profound and creative reflection on the ecumenical task. With this report the study group members do not claim to speak "for" their churches, but hope to speak "to" all the churches out of shared concern for the founding ecumenical imperative that they all may be one . . . so that the world may believe.
Signatories of the Princeton Proposal: William Abraham
John H. Erickson
R. R. Reno
William G. Rusch
Susan K. Wood
J. Robert Wright
Written with insight and sensitivity by Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant scholars, these seven studies inquire into Mary's place in the story of salvation, in personal devotion, and in public worship.
Contributors: Carl E. Braaten
Lawrence S. Cunningham
Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald
Beverly Roberts Gaventa
Robert W. Jenson
David S. Yeago
Written by an outstanding group of ethicists, theologians, and Bible scholars from various church traditions -- Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist -- this timely work argues unequivocally for the divine authority and permanent validity of the Ten Commandments in both church and society. While including the Judge Roy Moore controversy in Alabama and other pertinent current issues in their discussion, the authors above all call the church to remain faithful to its heritage -- ultimately to the Lord God -- amid our postmodern culture at large.
Contributors: Markus Bockmuehl
Carl E. Braaten
William T. Cavanaugh
David Bentley Hart
Robert W. Jenson
Thomas C. Oden
R. R. Reno
Christopher R. Seitz
Robert Louis Wilken
Story and Promise--we dare to call it a "one-volume dogmatics"--leaves no element of the Christian faith untouched: the classical doctrines concerning God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, man, the church; the clearly radical implications of these doctrines for personal and social transformation; the focus of Christian vision on the future as the time when God comes and man becomes what God intends. This book clarifies the traditional problems of faith, and also raises the revolutionary issues marking the end of this century. It is a thoughtful and satisfying piece of systematic theology in a time of shattered understandings of the faith.
1. To what end does God rule human history?
2. In what sense does God have a history and what is the relation between His history and ours?
3. What does the Christian assertion that Jesus, an historical event, is the meaning of life, say about the meaning of reality?
Through investigation of these questions, Alpha and Omega presents Barth's theology as an answer to the challenge presented by the loss of man's ancient belief in an eternal and unchanging framework and in a goal of life. The Church must speak to man as it finds him. Today it cannot assume that man already believes in "justice," "goodness," and "God." Christianity must learn to present Jesus Christ, in his unadulterated historical reality, as the meaning of man's life. Alpha and Omega shows that Barth's development of a proclamation in which Christ's life is seen as the unconditional goal of the history of creation, in which to live means to become Christ's brother and share in His story, is one of theology's few live possibilities--if not the only one.
'The various chapters in this excellent book, summarised as to leading themes by editors in the introduciton, orginated as conference papers which addressed the question: can the Bible still speak to the Church in an age of critical historical awareness? It is a book which will repay careful reading by all those concerned to maintain or restore an intergral connection between Bible and Church while retaining also a personal integrity of intellect and spirit. There are eight essays in all, each addressing the central question in its own unique manner.'
Colm O Baoill, University of Aberdeen, Scottish Journal of Theology
Dr. Jenson takes up the theme of religionless Christianity and works it out in relation to theology, worship, ethics, parish structure, missionary motivation, and faith. The final chapter consists of sermonic attempts to do what A Religion against Itself says must be done. Three excursuses show how the author's thought differs from that of Thomas J. J. Altizer, William Hamilton, and Harvey Cox.
For Christians repelled by their own religion, here is a book that comes to grips with the "logic and music of our condition," in the hope of helping the church make sense of the gospel to itself and perhaps also to others.