Defining Liberal Theology


Ben Myers brings us this great definition of liberal theology from Richard Rorty.

In an interview, Richard Rorty has offered a very memorable assessment of liberal theology:

“I’m delighted that liberal theologians do their best to do what Pio Nono said shouldn’t be done – try to accommodate Christianity to modern science, modern culture, and democratic society. If I were a fundamentalist Christian, I’d be appalled by the wishy-washiness of [the liberal] version of the Christian faith. But since I am a non-believer who is frightened of the barbarity of many fundamentalist Christians (e.g. their homophobia), I welcome theological liberalism. Maybe liberal theologians will eventually produce a version of Christianity so wishy-washy that nobody will be interested in being a Christian anymore. If so, something will have been lost, but probably more will have been gained.”

I can hardly imagine a more acute commentary on certain forms of contemporary Protestant theology. Is this not, in fact, the precise goal of many theologians (e.g. Cupitt, Spong) – “to produce a version of Christianity so wishy-washy that nobody will be interested in being a Christian anymore”?

I could not agree more and I think goes hand in glove with my comments yesterday regarding the church’s need to return to the foundation of her faith.

(Via Faith and Theology.)

 

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