Re: Liberalism and Neo-orthodoxy

From: Graham E. Morbey <>
Date: Mon Feb 16 2004 - 19:38:50 EST

Hi Terry, et al,

Maybe Van Til didn't really "know" Barth. It doesn't matter if Van Til's
copies of the Dogmatics, etc., were the most studied and marked up. Van
Til read everything according to his set of "truths" and could very well
have misunderstood Barth's language and meanings and have done a lot of
eisegesis on him! What makes me say this is the present favourable study
of Barth by orthodox Christians and the fact that Van Til once told some
of his students at Westminster that his work was to dismantle false
theologies and it would be his students task to be more constructive. I
have a high regard for Van Til but I think his reading of others was too
much influenced by his negative critical attitude.


Terry M. Gray wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> May I suggest that we on this list are for the most part friends and
> fellow believers and that our goal is not necessarily to win arguments
> and score points but to spur one another on toward our common goal of
> understanding the faith-science relationship.
> Thus, it seems to me, that the kind of ridicule and dismissal that Dick
> was met with when he made his factual blunder (to put it most
> negatively) or his over-generalization (to put it most positively) seems
> out of line. I'd suggest that in such instances a note off-line to
> correct his mistake is much more appropriate than the public scorn that
> was heaped upon him on-line.
> That being said, while I do regard theological liberalism and
> neo-orthodoxy to be separate entities, and would regard neo-orthodoxy to
> be an improvement upon theological liberalism, in my tradition, that of
> the conservative Presbyterians represented by the Orthodox Presbyterian
> Church and Westminster Theological Seminary, neo-orthodoxy springs from
> many of the same roots as liberalism, and while the language of
> orthodoxy is much more prevalent, some of the fundamental postures
> toward scripture and the historicity of the Christian faith remain. The
> critique of theologian/apologist Cornelius Van Til comes to mind here. I
> know that many on the list will strong disagree with Van Til's analysis,
> but no one can say that Van Til didn't know Barth. It is said that Van
> Til's personal copy of Barth's Church Dogmatics was the most studied and
> marked up of any known scholar. Some may even regard the OPC and WTS as
> fundamentalists. I will dispute that label, although I will proudly
> stand by the right use of that term, i,e. that we affirm the
> fundamentals of the Christian faith.
> TG
Received on Mon Feb 16 19:39:41 2004

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