Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Theology (ThD)


Systematic Theology

First Advisor

John Johnson

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 1 John 4:8, 16; 1 Timothy 2:4; Ephesians 2:12; Galatians 3:26-28; Galatians 4:3-7; John 1:14; John 14:16, 17,26; Romans 8:14-17;


The marketplace is currently experiencing no shortage of systematic theologies. At both the popular and academic levels, volumes are published at a rate exceeding the ability of any one scholar to digest or evaluate. The methodological pluralism alluded to above is now a cacophony. Yesterday’s mentors are challenged by process theology, theologies of hope, and seemingly infinite manifestations of liberation theology--to name only several of the most obvious.

With this history and the above cautions in mind, this essay will explore the definition, guiding motif, and methodology of three major contemporary theologians: Bernard Lonergan, Helmut Thielicke, and Edward Farley, representing the Roman, Lutheran, and Reformed traditions respectively. How do these post-critical authors conceive and carry out their theological enterprise? What presuppositions undergird their work? Are these overt or tacit? Do they reflect, implicitly or explicitly, a specific philosophical orientation? What "formative factors"3 determine the substance and style of their theological assertions? Is their goal forthrightly stated and kept in focus? How are "traditional” theological problems addressed, if at all? Aretha authors internally consistent?

Our critical efforts will run along these very lines, namely, the fidelity of each to the theological task as he himself envisions it and the constancy of his pursuit thereof. Assessing their adherence to or departure from an assumed dogmatic standard from one locus to the next, while not altogether irrelevant, is neither the purpose nor the direct burden of the investigation. Their orthodoxy is not at issue; rather, we are analyzing the stance from which the three authors engage in the theological enterprise. (Because their written contributions are not all of the same character, a bibliographic statement will accompany each chapter.)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.