The love from above

Man can love himself in terms of self-acceptance only if he is certain that he is accepted. Otherwise his self-acceptance is self-complacency and arbitrariness. Only in the light and in the power of the ‘love from above’ can he love himself. This implies the answer to the question of man’s justice towards himself. He can […]

The evangelical liberalism of Georgia Harkness

A common story about 20th century American theology is that liberalism dominated in the early decades, but gradually vanished in the face of more conservative or orthodox alternatives. Theological modernism and the Social Gospel movement seemed to be the wave of the future, but they were swept away by the winds of Barthian neo-orthodoxy blowing […]

Favorite books read in 2013

This is not based on any kind of rigorous methodology;  these are just the books I enjoyed and/or that “stuck with me” the most throughout the year. As should be obvious, these were not necessarily books published in 2013. Fiction: Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy I decided to start reading this late last year after seeing […]

Christianity is not inherently right-wing

To those of us of a more moderate or liberal disposition, the tendency of conservative Christians to identify right-wing politics with Christianity per se is a source of no small irritation. Today at Salon, Elizabeth Stoker and Matt Bruenig point out that the American Christian Right’s approach to wealth and poverty is an outlier when […]

Tillich: Why the “historical Jesus” is not the foundation of faith

Paul Tillich’s discussion of historical Jesus research in volume 2 of his Systematic Theology is a minor tour de force and could still apply today without too much change. The problem of historical Jesus research, Tillich says, is that you can’t get “behind” the New Testament documents to the “real” historical Jesus of Nazareth because […]