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How To Be an Evangelical and a Leftist,
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This review is from: Reformed and Always Reforming: The Postconservative Approach to Evangelical Theology (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology) (Paperback)
I am sympathetic to Olson's theological point: evangelicals, especially those of a highly Calvinist viewpoint, tend to view much of the traditional theology of the fundamentalist/modernist controversies and the Old Princetonians as a kind of magisterium that cannot be challenged. He points to Hodge's Systematic Theology as apparently exercising this function. This critique is I think essentially correct.
However, Olson's real concern, what gets his blood going, is an effort to recreate an evangelicalism that is comfortable with the political left in general and the Democrat party in particular. His championing of Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo and Ron Sider makes this absolutely clear. Now, if your objective is to have Christian teaching and doctrine that are closer to the Biblical roots and the historic teachings of the Church, as exemplified by the Greek Fathers, then I highly doubt that reading that Bible in a way that supports the academic leftism regnant in the universities is going to get what you are looking for. It certainly is going to make you more palatable to your friends in the university who are overwhelmingly leftists and have nothing but contempt for ordinary Americans, especially Republicans. Even after all of the controversies and differences of opinion, one thing should be abundantly clear after a century of liberal/evangelical dispute and dialogue: a Christianity that looks just like the received wisdom of the secular elites is of no use to anyone. Unfortunately, Olson has become an advocate of just such a syncretism.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 27, 2010 8:12:22 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 27, 2010 1:49:47 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2010 11:55:45 AM PDT
Book Guy says:
This kind of critique is lazy and disingenuous. Of course I read the book. But the book was ruined for me by Olson's political agenda. He's the one who wrote the book with a political agenda, not me.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2010 8:10:51 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 27, 2010 1:49:33 PM PDT]
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