Category: Faith and Reason

A Corollary to Thielicke’s Axiom

Helmut Thielicke (1908-86), a German pastor and educator who remained faithful even under Hitler’s regime in WWII, wrote that the real competition in theology is not between modernists (or “liberals”) and conservatives but consists in a more basic—and unnoticed—conflict between Cartesians and non-Cartesians. As I’ll share below, I agree with him, but first let me …

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Faith Ethics

Sometime near the year 220 the church father Tertullian asked a provocative question: “What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the Church? What between heretics and Christians?”  That question touches a tension I felt in my career as a college and graduate school educator. I found …

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Reversing roles

Years ago I was impressed by what I read about Helmut Thielicke as he toured the United States. When he was asked by a reporter what impressions he had of the American church as a whole he responded to this effect: the church is wide and lively but it seems not to understand the benefits …

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