Periodical Reviews -- By: James F. Rand

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 117:465 (Jan 1960)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: James F. Rand

Periodical Reviews

James F. Rand

“The Aims and Contents of Pastoral Theology,” Religion in Life, Autumn, 1959.

Three prominent teachers in the practical field, Hans Hofmann, Seward Hiltner, and John G. McKenzie, analyze past and present concepts of pastoral theology in an endeavor to discover its relevance for the present day. Hiltner’s definition is interesting and provocative of thought: “Pastoral theology, then is to be understood as a branch of theology in the strict sense of the term, even though more technical analysis will suggest that it is a functional or ‘operational’ branch rather than being precisely like biblical theology or doctrinal theology or historical theology. But potentially, its contribution to our understanding of Christian faith need be no less. In view of these potential riches, it is imperative that we ask seriously the questions: what is the pastoral in pastoral theology? and why is it theology?” The symposium is concluded by the answers of ten pastors to the question, “What is your concept of pastoral theology?”

Carnell, Edward John, “Postfundamentalist Faith,” Christian Century, August 26, 1959.

The former president of Fuller Theological Seminary, who has caused considerable excitement in recent months by his campaigns against fundamentalism, sets forth his basis of fellowship in this brief article in the voice of theological liberalism. Carnell asserts that he can share fellowship “with all who are willing to test and correct their partial insights by the full insight of God’s Word.” This final paragraph has been preceded by vigorous criticism of fundamentalism as “a sinning pharisaism that confused possession of truth with possession of virtue…. Since only fundamentalists were in possession of truth, they alone were virtuous enough to form the body of Christ. All other elements in the Christian community were apostate. It was by a discovery of this pompous theological error that I awoke from dogmatic slumber.” Having awakened and embarked on a position of theological inclusiveness, it now remains to be seen just how far Carnell will go in leaving the doctrines of orthodoxy. Some clue may be found in the article, “A Trilogy on Protestant Theology, a Triple Review of Three Books” (Journal of Bible and Religion, October, 1959) in which the three authors of the famous “case” books review each others’ books. The comments by the neoorthodox William Hordern and the liberal L. Harold DeWolf on the changes in Carnell’s theology are most interesting. Hordern writes: “The most obvious difference between Carnell’s position and mine occurs in his argument for the plenary inspiration of Scriptures. Carnell certainly is not arguing for literalism or for what w...

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