The Untenableness of Neo-Orthodox Theology Exposed

“The (neo-orthodox) theologians stand before the Bible in the expectation that through preaching the words of the Bible will become the word of God as the Bible’s audience encounters them in the written witness to Jesus Christ. Barth is famous for the syollogism, ‘The Word written: the Word preached: the Word revealed.’ In other words the written words of the Bible become the word of God to the Church through the preaching of Jesus Christ. As the Bible engenders faith in Jesus Christ, it becomes the Word of God. Surely it is important to combine Word and Spirit  to know God in Jesus Christ, but to restrict the revelation  of the word of God to the human encounter with God in that preaching locates the Bible’s authority in the Christian’s experience of revelation, not in the Bible’s  divine inspiration of that revelation. God’s Word is God’s Word whether or not it is recognized as such, just as a father and a mother are a child’s parents whether accepted or rejected by the child.

The neo-orthodox tend to distinguish between Jesus Christ as the Word of God and Scripture as a ‘witness’ to the Word of God. Barth grounded his dogmatic theology on an orthodox understanding of Jesus Christ as the embodiment of God and of God’s purpose for humankind, but regrettably not on the whole Bible, which he did not regard as inerrant. According to neo-orthodox theology, biblical statements that do not contribute to the witness to Jesus Christ are not necessarily true. This position is unstable because it exalts Christ by depreciating the text that bears witness to His exaltation. In other words according to the neo-orthodox, one hears the Word of God in the Bible as one hears music on a scratched record. In this way they tend to set up the canon of the message of Jesus Christ (i.e.– The music) as more valuable then the whole canon of Scripture (i.e. — the record); a canon within the canon. This dichotomy creates an unstable theology — evangelical and unorthodox regarding the authority of all of Scripture. A canon-within-a-canon theology ultimately places authority in the audience.”

Bruce Waltke 
An Old Testament Theology — pg. 75-76

A small beef with Waltke, in this otherwise fine quote, is his giving in to feminist theology as seen in his usage of “humankind,” as opposed to “mankind.”

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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