The Duty of a Christian Scholar

This past semester I had the happy duty of reading through a Reformation treatise on the Eucharist, penned by the sixteenth-century Lutheran pastor, Joachim Westphal. I chose this for my student, a Lutheran who took to it right away, as it was one of hundreds upon hundreds (doubtless thousands) of late Renaissance and Reformation texts still awaiting translation into English. To date, her translation runs 50 pages and 18,000 words. I’m rather pleased with her. She’s the only student in my 25+ years at the university level I have ever given an A+ to, as I…

Analyzing the Hartford Appeal – Part 1

On April 1, 1975 Worldview Magazine published “An Appeal for Theological Affirmation: The Hartford Statement”. The themes of this Appeal were first thought up on evening in January 1974 at the home of Peter Berger, an eminent and respected sociologist. There Richard John Neuhaus and Berger, with great fun, made up a list of major themes in mainline Protestantism that irritated them. The irritation came from what they saw as serious problems arising from the assumptions being made in so much Christian engagement with public life in the United States. They shared this list with a…