Re: [asa] an Archimedean point in theology? (was: natural theology, bad and good)

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Mon May 11 2009 - 17:48:13 EDT

> Further than this, I would not go, by saying that X or Y (thinking of
> individuals such as Bishop Spong or Harvey Cox or Shailer Mathews from the
> 1920s) is or is not a Christian: that is for Christ himself to say, at a
> time and place TBA.  Ditto for myself: if Christ does not know me, than
> there is no hope for me.

A valuable caution with regard to judging others. However, there is
use in saying that someone does not appear to be a Christian and
therefore a) is appropriate to include in evangelistic outreach and b)
should not be expected to act like a Christian.

Two additional factors with regard to earlier versus newer theologians:

In reaching a particular audience, appeal to denominational standards
or other well-known traditional authorities may be of more effect than
citing a more modern source.

On the particular topic of perceived conflicts between faith and
science, citing someone who wrote long enough ago so as to not be
accused of accommodating to modern science can be useful.

I don't think many modern theologians are well-known enough outside of
theological circles to be easily appealed to-tying into the "Scandal
of the Evangelical Mind" types of issues as well as the more general
disconnect between academic specialization and anyone outside the
field. Cf. Wodehouse on a vicar trying to reach his rural
congregation by trying to think of a one syllable synonym for

In fact, the past has ample supply of bad theology, and the present
has plenty of orthodox theologians.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon May 11 17:48:40 2009

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