Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Orthodox Christianity and Liberal Christianity: The Difference Between the Two


                                       (New York City, from our hotel room)

I'm enjoying Roger Olson's new book Against Liberal Theology: Putting the Brakes on Progressive Christianity

Here's Olson quoting liberal (and process) theologian Delwin Brown, on the difference between liberal and orthodox Christianity.

"I have never read or heard the basic difference between orthodox Christianity and liberal Christianity expressed more clearly and concisely than by liberal theologian Delwin Brown, whom I quoted in the introduction. According to Brown, the main difference between orthodox Christianity and liberal Christianity has to do with different authorities for belief. Liberal Christianity’s main authority for belief is “the modern consensus,” by which Brown means contemporary “reason, sensory experience, intuition, . . . praxis,” and not the Bible. He wrote, “To summarize my view, the Bible is not the criterion of truth. . . . The Bible does not ‘norm’ us, it does form us.” Clark Pinnock, an orthodox Christian theologian, responded that the main problem with liberal theology is “its apparent willingness to break with the foundational proclamation. . . . It leaves the way open to reduce and distort the Word of God under the pressure of modern ideas.” Brown responded to Pinnock’s orthodox defense of the Bible as Christianity’s supreme source and norm for belief by saying, “I do not think anyone should ever believe anything simply because it is in the Bible.”"

(Olson, p. 36)