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Review Essay, Keeping the Balance

Evangelical theologians must remember that “theology is not just a question of content, it is also a question of context; and if we simply replace the liberalism with evangelicalism with regard to content whilst remaining happy with the overall context, we will have failed”.


In conclusion, Trueman says that the aim to integrate our faith and our studies, at the end of the day, cannot be done in the purely academic environment of the university, for the simple reason that “the modern university in its very essence is designed to reject the kind of integration for which you seek”. Integration can only be achieved “when theology is given its proper place within the church, within the worshipping community”. It becomes apparent then that becoming actively involved in a local church fellowship is not merely a matter of Christian obedience but of “sanctified common sense”. It is not enough to simply supplement what you are being taught with sound evangelical theology, “you also need to place yourself in an environment where the indifference to and distance from real life that academic theological study engenders can be alleviated. And that place is church”. Trueman admonishes us to fill our hearts as well as our heads with “good stuff” and to see our theological work as an act of devotion. He concludes with a quotation from Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield, demonstrating the proper spirit for approaching our studies.

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Category: In Depth, Spring 2006

About the Author: W. Simpson, PhD (University of St. Andrews, Scotland), is a physicist and writer with an interest in theology, currently engaged in scientific research in the middle-east.

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