A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Theologians Who Passed the Torch to Us in 2010

From Michael Westmoreland-White:

Vernon M. Grounds (1914-2010). This is an addition from the comments. Grounds, the Emeritus President of Denver Seminary, passed away on 12 September at the age of 96. A Conservative Baptist, Grounds taught theology and Christian ethics. He was an ambassador for the best of American evangelicalism; always a voice for the poor and for peacemaking.

Edward Schillebeeckxx (1915-2010) Dominican priest and theologian who was hugely influential in Vatican II and was one of the progressive Catholic leaders after the Council. He was especially strong in incorporating critical biblical scholarship into his work as a systematic theologian.

John M. Swomley (1915-2010). Moderately liberal United Methodist theological ethicist. A pacifist, Swomley was a conscientious objector to WWII, a leader of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and a behind the scenes player in the Civil Rights movement. He taught Christian social ethics at St. Paul School of Theology, St. Louis, MO.

Raimon Pannikar (1919-2010). Spanish Catholic theologian and "apostle of interfaith dialogue."

George R. Edwards (1920-2010). Presbyterian New Testament scholar and longtime pacifist and peace activist, especially through the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Teaching for decades at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Edwards was known not only for an amazing classroom presence (and prayerful gentleness), but for two major monographs, Jesus and the Politics of Violence (1972) and Gay/Lesbian Liberation: A Biblical Perspective (1984).

Robert Bratcher (1920-2010). Baptist missionary and Bible translator for the American Bible Society and the United Bible Societies. Bratcher was the major translator of Good News for Modern Man which became the New Testament section of The Good News Bible, at one time the most popular English translation sold in the United States. This established the "dynamic equivalence" approach to biblical translation.

W. Morgan Patterson (1925-2010). Southern Baptist church historian who taught at 4 different Baptist seminaries and was president of Georgetown College (Georgetown, KY). Patterson was most famous for his strong critique of "Baptist successionism," the erroneous view (still popular in some circles) that Baptists are not Protestants but the “true church” traced in unbroken succession from Jesus’s baptism by John in the River Jordan through dissenting groups throughout the centuries.

E. Earle Ellis (1926-2010) Southern Baptist New Testament scholar with a scholarly conservative bent. Worked especially on the use of the Old Testament by New Testament writers.

Donald G. Bloesch (1928-2010) Evangelical systematic theologian who stayed with the mostly-liberal United Church of Christ and taught at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. An evangelical interpreter of Karl Barth (and, to lesser extents, Emil Brunner and Reinhold Niebuhr), Bloesch had a two-fold mission: to bring back more orthodoxy into mainline Protestant theology and to get evangelicals to read more widely, think more self-critically, with more openess to the entire global church, and to persuade the entire church of the centrality of prayer and piety to both theology and the life of the church.

Bruce L. Shelly (1929-2010) Evangelical Baptist church historian in the Conservative Baptist Association. Taught for decades at Denver Seminary.

Ralph McInerny (1929-2010). American Catholic priest, philosopher, and professor at University of Notre Dame. Also author of the best-selling mystery novels of Father Downing.

David Livingstone Mueller (1930-2010). Baptist theologian and pastor who was a major interpreter of the work of Karl Barth. Mueller was one of my teachers and although others made more of an impact on the content of my thought, Mueller did the most in helping me to think theologically. After retiring from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1994, Mueller taught for another decade at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, TX.

Moishe Rosen (1932-2010). American Baptist minister and controversial founder of Jews for Jesus, an evangelistic ministry to members of the Jewish faith.

Clark Pinnock (1937-2010). Canadian evangelical Baptist who moved from a Carl Henry-style evangelical rationalism to embracing the Charismatic movement, Arminianism, interfaith dialogue, and "Open Theism."

Arthur Gish (1939-2010). Amish-born conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, Gish was a minister in the Church of the Brethren, a popular pacifist author and peace activist. He worked especially on peacemaking in Israel-Palestine through Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Andrew D. Lester (1940-2010). Baptist minister and longtime professor of psychology of religion and pastoral care and counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY) during the 1970s and 1980s. With the fundamentalist takeover, Lester moved to Texas and finished his teaching career at Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University.

We thank God for their faithful witness.
This list is surely incomplete. If you know of anyone else who should be listed, please indicate that in the comments.

HT: Dave Black


Tom Sims said...

Good job on compiling this and commenting. I am having a sense of loss over some of these I did not know had died. Thanks for posting.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Tom, you are welcome, but it was Michael who compiled the list and commented. The red font signifies quotation.