Introduction to Modern Theology

To this point, I have attempted to present the theological developments within the Christian church in a systematic manner. I will now address theology in the modern era from the very late 19th century to the present. The theological developments that I will address are not necessarily formal theology or Christian.  Many of the persons are not typically thought of as theologians. Leo Tolstoy was a writer, primarily known for his novels; Henry Bergson and Alfred North Whitehead were philosophers; Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were civil rights leaders; Hans Kung, Edward Schillebeeckx and Matthew Fox are Catholic theologians. It may seem odd that as a Protestant, I have been most moved by Catholic theologians (perhaps that is less odd when one considers that each exceeded the comfort zone of the Catholic church.) I was influenced greatly by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but perhaps I have been most drawn to him because of a Methodist minister who quoted him for the statement, “Sin and sin boldly, but love Christ more boldly still.” Having been drawn to him for that, I was to discover that he was also, in a manner, a civil rights leader. He co-founded the Lutheran Confessing Church in Germany during the Nazi era, he participated in the failed plot to kill Hitler, and he was executed only 23 days before the end of the Second World War. I was later to discover that the quotation which the pastor attributed to him was actually his quote of Luther. Although these persons are not generally associated with Christian theology, yet, their ideas, their actions and their faith have had great significance to me as a Christian.  The following is a thematic outline of how we will precede with the subject of modern Christian theology.

Christianity as a Way of Life: By Their Fruits You Will Know Them

Christian Theology: Many Paths; One Great River

Science and Religion

Religion and Evolution

Teilhardian Synthesis: Omega Point


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