Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 131:521 (Jan 1974)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

“Two Christianities,” John C. Bennott, Worldview, Oct, 1973, pp. 20-24.

The evangelical Christian surge in numbers and wealth and influence over the past decade or more has finally forced the liberals to take notice of the movement which they used to ignore deliberately. The fact is that they no longer can. This article by the former president of Union Theological Seminary in New York is evidence of that fact.

In it the author tries to explain why, contrary to what should be occurring, the growth of evangelicalism is taking place and why, from his point of view, it will not continue for long. But at least he acknowledges the existence of conservative Christianity. That in itself is a breakthrough of major importance. Perhaps there is hope that liberal seminary libraries may sometime do the same in their book acquisition.

According to Bennett the two Christianities are the following: (1) a Christianity that stresses individual salvation and personal faith and biblical orientation; and (2) a Christianity that is “open theologically and progressive socially” (p. 21) and that seeks to have an impact politically. I do not know whether the author or the editor was responsible for this, but the contrast was graphically illustrated by the table of contents pages of Christianity Today on the one hand and Christianity and Crisis on the other.

Bennett appears to be convinced that the mission of the church today is to achieve at least a socialistic, if not a communistic, economic and political system in the United States and the world. This is necessary to eliminate poverty and equalize the distribution of the wealth. What makes him think that poverty is eliminated or that the wealth is equally distributed in existent socialist or communist countries?

The significant point is that there is an almost total absence of biblical support for the author’s plea that the church must provide a prophetic challenge to the nation in social, economic, and political areas. The Lord Jesus Christ and the apostolic church indeed “turned

the world upside down” (Acts 17:6), but they did it by spiritual revolution in lives responding to the gospel of Christ, not by social action.

“Toward a Theology of Humor,” Wilbur H. Mullen, Christian Scholars Review, III, No. 1 (1973), 3–12.

“Toward a Theology of Celebration: A Response to Professor Mullen,” Ray S. Anderson, Christian Scholars Review, III, No.1 (1973), 13–14.

“Notes Toward a Theology of Hum...

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