Friday, February 21, 2014

Pieper, 1968 Chapter A18, “Theology and Doctrinal Liberty”

Chapter A18, “Theology and Doctrinal Liberty”

Pieper begins this chapter with the observation that the Christian has been freed from his own will and bound to the will of Christ. In the same way, the theologian has been freed from his own speculation and bound to the Word of God. It is important, then, that the Christian theologian not bind himself again to human speculation. Pieper views this issue under two headings.

First, the Church has only one Teacher, Jesus. This is the testimony of Jesus, the apostles, and the historic Church. Yet in the name of academic and theological freedom some theologians want room for bondate to their own opinions. This is not in character for the Christian theologian.

Second, the Christian is exhorted to hear only preaching and teaching that is consistent with Scripture. Therefore, again, theological speculation in the name of academic freedom simply serves to divorce the theologian from his rightful task of analyzing and applying Scripture.

A note from this reviewer, the issue of academic freedom can now cut both ways. It may be valuable to claim academic freedom now in order to depart from what Pieper would consider the “modern” point of view.

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