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May 14, 2009


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Clay Allard

Reinhold Niebuhr was the only modern theologian I have ever read who managed to synthesize theology and common sense. That he did not always give the Scriptures the weight of reality was always a stumbling block for me-- but where is the modern theologian who did?
I think you're on to something, Michael, with the clear-eyed distrust of the extremes. Too few of us reason, too many of us feel our way to what we believe is truth. Niebuhr's skepticism is the real foundation of moderation as a pragmatic way forward.

Michael W. Kruse

Thanks Clay.

And just to be clear, for me it isn't just the extreme of left and right that needs moderation. I think it also moderation of the extremes of transformation and accommodation.

Prudence and pragmatism are two values that come to my mind.


"Another area Stackhouse thinks Niebuhr was significantly deficient in addressing the role of the church as institution. “How should the church as an institution, and not just as well-intentioned individuals, function on behalf of justice and the highest ideal of love?” (111) This is very fuzzy in Niebuhr’s writing."

That's because Niebuhr is the 20th century Protestant par excellence. This is probably the major problem with Protestantism itself.

Michael W. Kruse


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