Writings of Branko's Blog

All around Central Europe

Just some thoughts on the Evangelical theology of today [blog]

Leave a comment

Evangelical theologians are counted by generations. Considering that this branch of theology is quite recent, the English-speaking world is today having its 4th generation, while Europe is having the 3rd. The rest of the world is in their’s 2nd or 1st generations (in Serbia we hardly have any theologians – so I count this time as a no theologians era :)).

Recently published book about theologians taking over the church

If we consider Miroslav Volf and Peter Kuzmic to be the theologians of Croatia (I think they are theologians of Central East Europe), we may count that they consist the 1st generation in Croatia. Because of the closeness of the languages, we benefit from their work and publications as well, although the major works are publish in English.

There is apparently a trend to revisit the theologians of the 1st generation, there are many disputes and ongoing debates, but the boat is more-less unshaken. However, we have learned a couple of lessons already:
  1. Whatever the achievements of evangelical theologians might be, they are not accepted in the general academia. Getting a degree in evangelical theology from established educational centers is seemingly quite difficult. Issues of nostrification, accreditation, academic equivalence, even no proper mentoring, etc. are always put forth as a good starting point for an excuse. This will remain for some time. Not only that there is a general non-tolerance of supposedly ‘tolerant’ post-modernists of today (they are tolerant to everyone and everything but the Christians and the message of the Cross), there is a sincere mistrust toward us, as we have done some wrongs in the past. Putting dogma in front of us as a means to defend our weak points and unsatisfactory work does not help either.
  2. Identity is not created by negating of something but by uplifting what is true and loving and appealing, that existed in the past or occurs in the present. Far too often the evangelical theologians were building up the identity of their denomination or school of thought by firstly and fore-mostly negating others around them. This has to stop as it is not only non-Christian, but highly offensive (sorry for the double negation here).
  3. Why are historical questions so irrelevant for the people who live today? Have we managed to ‘kill’ the good story and a good example of our forefathers? If God responded in the past, can we not expect Him to act in the present and in the future? Sometimes I am not even sure what do Evangelicals want to emphasize today. Recently I managed to rediscover one item: social action and evangelism. Apparently the first generation said ‘evangelism,’ than the third generation (in Europe) and perhaps the first one in Latin America and Asia said ‘social action then evangelism,’ and I now hear more and more (4th generation in the English-speaking world) about them both going together.
I do not seem to understand well the above issues. Someone said: “to explain something simply you must understand it profoundly.” What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s