The Apologetic Needs For The Age Of Aquarius -- By: Harold Lindsell

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 15:1 (Winter 1972)
Article: The Apologetic Needs For The Age Of Aquarius
Author: Harold Lindsell

The Apologetic Needs For The Age Of Aquarius

Harold Lindsell*

Traditionally theology was called the queen of the sciences. In theory at least it meant that theology topped the list in man’s never ending quest for knowledge and particularly for ultimates. Hidden in theology’s queenship was the notion that all of life and conduct including the political, economic, social, ethical and philosophical had their “ground of being,” to use Tillich’s phrase, in theology. Life was rooted in theology, informed by theology and found to be false or true to the extent that it corresponded to theological realities.

Theology in turn was grounded in God’s self-revelation and this was commonly held to be the Word of God written. This Word not only revealed the Incarnate Word; it also formed the framework that gave meaning to all of life. This idea that theology was queen and that all thought was related and subject to it was held by Jonathan Edwards, who, as much as any man, influenced eighteenth centmy American religious life. His biographer says:

Throughout his mature life as well there would be the recurring ambition to bring vast areas of knowledge within an orderly system, in which everything would have a place, part relating to part. He once dreamed of writing A Rational Account of the Christian Religion, in which all art and all science would find center and meaning in theology (]onathan Edwards: Basic Writings; XII: Forward by Ola Elizabeth Winslow. The New American Library, New York, 1966).

I share Edwards’ view but I shudder at the failure of evangelicals to execute in life what most of them pay lip service to in principle. I am not speaking of non-evangelicals for many of whom theology is irrelevant. I am not speaking of those who follow the current fads of intuitionism, humanism, suhjectivism and non-theistic existentialism. I am speaking to those who profess to believe that life is of one whole piece, that ultimate objective absolutes underlie all reality, and that the theology derived from Scripture has something to say to men in the arts, the sciences, and the social sciences.

Unhappily, even among evangelicals theology has been divorced from the other disciplines found in the curriculum of the average Christian institution. Most of the historians, political scientists, sociologists

‘Presidential address, Evangelical Theological Society, 1971.

and economists, to name a few in the soft sciences, have been trained in secular graduate schools where Christian theology was never brought to bear on these disciplines. Once these social scientists graduated they gravitated to teaching...

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