Dear Confessors, George a member of this CC list, a lay person has written a book. In response to Jane's idea of discussing papers, books, sermons of those on this list I agreed to discuss George's work with him. Many of you will not be interested in joining the discussion but you might be interested in the dialogue. For those who wish to join us we are discussing the last chapter which is posted below if you would like to read it. If something interest you jump into the discussion
The focus of George's book or maybe his vision is that the vitalization of Reformed Protestant Church (which is primarily the old mainline churches and the evangelical church and I would include the Pentecostal church) would be through a reapportion by liberal and evangelical of a Barthian,Word/Spirit dogmatic theology nuanced by Bonheoffer's worldly Christianity and R. Niebuhr's "Impossibility Possibility" paradoxical faith. This is in part the old neo-orthodoxy of the 1940's-50's or what Rich calls "a generous orthodoxy. I have not read the whole book but the three chapters I have read are deep and wide dealing with the thorny issues of the past 100 years that divided the Protestant Church and drained a great deal of her vitality and life. The vision of some reconciliation of Liberal,mainline and Evangelical/fundamentalist may be repugnant to some but George makes an interesting case. In the next week or so I would like to offer some quotes and raise some questions and just chat a little about the writing.
My question: At the present time there are a number of efforts to revitalize the protestant church, such as the emerging church project, Mega churches, Progressive Church, Sponge's Living the Questions, Why do you think that as you state, "I aspire to establish a more open-ended dialogue between certain strands in Protestant mainline and evangelical theology through the legacy of neo-orthodoxy than is often indicative in a great deal of polemics characteristic of both theological traditions. Whatever the difficulties and ultimate partiality in reclaiming this legacy for both dialectical post liberalism and a more dogmatic evangelical theology, any flourishing of Protestant orthodoxy even within the Diaspora depends, I am sensing, a great deal on the viability of this effort. What follows is an exploration of the enduring value of this heritage through my own selective reading focusing on Barth's illuminated word-based theology, Bonheoffer's worldly Christianity" and Reinhold Niebuhr's paradoxical theology in dynamic tension resident b between the penultimacy of history and the ultimacy of God's revelation which extends "beyond history" even with it many manifestations within the stream of time." quote p. 280-281. Why do you think this approach is critical? Herb