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Bloesch, Donald G.


Donald G. Bloesch: Mann Quick Notes (Mark Mann, 1997)

Donald G. Bloesch: Mann Quick Notes

Mark Mann, 1997


Identifies his theology as "progressive evangelicalism": seeks continuity with early church and with the Reformers; not synonymous with emotionalism or scholasticism, but heartily embraces personal transformation of life and mind through Christ

His practical methodology: criticizes both conservative and liberal ends of the theological spectrum, attempting to find a safe middle ground between them

The purpose of theology: fides quarens intellectum: one cannot understand God’s world, will and way until one has first been tranformed and given faith by God’s Spirit which then provides the light that opens one up to God and enables one to plumb the depths of understanding God as far as is humanly possible

Two great dangers to faith and theology:

  1. Rationalism/Philosophism: this makes theology a human search for God, which it is not! Thus, theology should not use philosophy as its norm; theology must express its truths in paradoxical ways that reason—unaided by the Spirit—cannot understand; the greatest danger is to subject theology to secular criteria of truth
  2. Mysticism/Experientialism: denies the mind’s ability to grasp objective truth about God and leads to relativism

His method: "Fideistic Revelationism"

  1. Revelation: the personal, historical, objective-subjective self-communication of God from beyond human history that breaks into it taking human forms; it is theology’s irreducible, unsurpassable and supreme source and norm
  2. His fideism is "anchored in the supreme rationality that constitutes the content and object of faith??
  3. Revelation is never identical with any finite, human, historical reality including the Bible and Jesus Christ (as a human), yet both are rightly called God’s Word for they have absolute content with relative form

Scripture: it is not a set of divinely revealed propositions: this elevates humans words to divine status and robs the majesty of God; scripture is the instrument or medium of revelation (like a light bulb but not the light itself; scripture is inspired, and it is infallible (he does not like the word innerency: the Bible is not faultless but it is incapable of teaching deception

He believes that the single biggest challenge of the contemporary theological scene is the erosion of transcendence, that Christian faith is being co-opted by the ideologies of both the left and the right, and he calls for a new evangelical confessionalism not unlike the Confessing Church in Germany which would oppose any loyalty that challenges loyalty to the Triune God

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