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Archive for March, 2011

 

HT: RP

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For those who are interested, the conference information is here.

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As I try to maximize my use of iPad in my work, I occasionally come across useful tips and guidance from others much more adept at this than I am. (And it is not difficult at all to become “much more adept at this than I am,” truth be told!) Among these, note the helpful posts on this topic by Adam M. Lowe here and here.

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Harnack Lives

Claude Welch, Protestant Thought in the Nineteenth Century, Vol. 2: 1870-1914 (Yale, 1985), p. 182:

“The point here is not the rightness of Harnack’s decisions, but that decisions must once more be made, and now against the background of an immensely fuller understanding of the history of doctrinal development. Harnack was highly persuasive for many as to the generally unsatisfactory character (for modern believers) of the ancient formulations. More important was the historical destruction of any easy assumption that Christian faith was adequately expressed for posterity in the Greco-Roman intellectual forms. This claim could indeed continue to be made, and other theologians and historians of doctrine were ready to make it. But Harnack’s work, we may say, decisively shifted the burden of proof to the shoulders of those who are argued for the necessity of the ancient dogmas or their value in the modern world. The story of Christianity as a whole, like that of Jesus and of scripture, was brought fully within the orbit of historical understanding. And with respect to the history of theology, Harnack’s work became a point of reference for all subsequent studies.”

One cannot work long in biblical studies and theology and escape the conclusion that Welch’s words continue to ring true. Harnack is alive and well in the questions he raised, if not the answers he gave.

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