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Chapter 26 Neo-orthodoxy: Karl Barth and others. Questions to be addressed in this chapter 1.How was existentialism a precursor to neo-orthodoxy? 2.Who.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 26 Neo-orthodoxy: Karl Barth and others. Questions to be addressed in this chapter 1.How was existentialism a precursor to neo-orthodoxy? 2.Who."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 26 Neo-orthodoxy: Karl Barth and others

2 Questions to be addressed in this chapter 1.How was existentialism a precursor to neo-orthodoxy? 2.Who was Karl Barth and why is he considered one of the most important theologians in history? 3.What are the main points of Barth’s neo-orthodox theology? 4.What are some ways that neo-orthodoxy has had a lasting influence?

3 Søren Kierkegaard: Existentialist and forerunner to neo-orthodoxy ( ) Danish philosopher/poet who was deeply concerned about the moral laxity of the religious people of Denmark. Christian faith is more about subjective passion than doctrine and dogma. Dogma leads to paradox; real subjective faith confronts individuals with Christ, who must choose for or against him.

4 Karl Barth: neo-orthodox theologian ( ) from Reformed Church in Switzerland. Brought Europe and American theology out of the grip of rationalist Enlightenment thinking. Pastor and professor in Switzerland.

5 Central themes of Barth’s neo-orthodoxy Rejection of liberalism: WW2 destroys the liberal optimism of his professors; return to Reformation principles. God’s transcendence, human fallenness, divine revelation. Divine election: Christ is the elected individual, and people could join into this election by following Christ.

6 Neo-orthodoxy’s lasting influence Hans Urs von Balthasar ( ) was an influential interpreter of Barth to Catholics. Emil Brunner ( ). Reinhold Niebuhr ( ) and his “Christian realism” continue the themes of neo-orthodoxy.

7 H. Richard Niebuhr’s description of liberal theology of the nineteenth century “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through a Christ without a cross” (p. 453).

8 Summary of main points 1.The Christian existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard required not a rational systematic account of Christian theology, as with liberalism, but rather an authentic faith manifested in a passionate encounter with the living God in Jesus Christ—a central theme of neo-orthodoxy. 2.Karl Barth was a Swiss Reformed theologian who turned from liberal theology and brought about a return to orthodoxy—or what is better dubbed neo-orthodoxy or a “theology from above”—in Christian theology. 3.Some of the central tenets of Barth’s neo-orthodoxy are the rejection of liberal theology, the sovereignty, transcendence and the universal love and grace of God, God’s self-disclosure through the event of Scripture, and election in Christ. 4.The influence of Barth’s neo-orthodoxy continued throughout the twentieth century and down to our own day, impacting both Catholic and Protestant theological luminaries.


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