Monday, February 18, 2008

Neo-evangelical apologetic theology

I was reading Stanley Grenz's Renewing the Center and came across a chapter entitled, "The Shaping of Neo-Evangelical Apologetic Theology." C. F. Henry and B. Ramm are the stars of this chapter in evangelical history. Grenz recounts how both theologians lamented how evangelicalism had billed inerrancy as one of evangelicalisms core issues. But even so the theological culture that ensued became one such that theology was self-consciously done in an apologetic way. Millard Erickson and Clark Pinnock were students of Henry and Ramm respectively and carried the torch of apologetic theology. This seems emblematic of how conservative evangelical Protestantism has gotten caught up in an exaggerated sense of "protest" against perpetual modernist attacks from which it might never fully recover--always feeling compelled to do conservative theology that is self-consciously apologetic for the sake of the laity. (Compare Richard Lints, The Fabric of Theology, and Craig Allert, A High View of Scripture?)