“In desperation, the major bodies of Protestantism have turned from liberalism to post-World War neo-orthodoxy with its emphasis upon a transcendent deity, who confronts man in a subjective experience.  Scripture may thus ‘become’ the word of God, whenever it mediates Christ, the living Word, in a personal encounter.  In theory, this new theology, together with a number of other post-liberal movements not specifically claiming its name, attempts to recover the values of Biblical orthodoxy while at the same time retaining man’s intellectual ‘respectability’ by its refusal to submit fully to the objective authority of Scripture.  Present religious thought is therefore marked by a renewed interest in eschatology; Christ’s second advent has even been associated by many with the theme of a recent gathering of the World Council of Churches.  But as the saying goes, ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too.’  In practice, neo-orthodoxy, at least in the area of eschatology, is simply liberalism’s negative skepticism without its positive humanistic hope.  It can only attempt, on subjective grounds, inconsistently to ‘pick and choose’ — from among the teachings of a Book whose authority it has already denied — such specific doctrines as may seem central (critically acceptable).'”

(J. Barton Payne, “Historical Introduction,” The Imminent Appearing of Christ, pp 28-29, 1962)

Post-liberal Eschatology


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