Four theologists that are Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Rudolf Bultmann, and Reinhold Niebuhr have been identified to give light to Neo-orthodox movement. Neo-orthodox is different from liberal Protestantism and evangelicalism. Karl Barth Barth believed that God manifests Himself to humans through the Bible. He stated that the word of God comprises of scripture, preaching, and revelation. The three are different but when united forms the word of God. He says that observing the environment cannot be a reason for someone to say they have knowledge of God, one has to read the word to understand God and to see how God manifests Himself to humans. The advantage of this theology is that he says we cannot be ashamed of God. The disadvantage is that he says some people are destined for salvation while others are destined for destruction.
Emil Brunner Theology Brunner came up with his theology because he wanted to make God’s word known by the ordinary man. From his theology, Brunner says there is a conflict between Liberalism and Bible teachings. He says that in John 1:1 the Bible says “In the beginning, there was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. ” Therefore, God reveals Himself to those who He has chosen to reveal Himself to and not through theology ideologies. Thus, God’s revelation is personal. Rudolf Bultmann Theology In Bultmann theology, he says that all Bible stories are myths; such as the story of Jesus’s resurrection. According to ,Bultmann, theology is scientific. By saying that the miracles are myths then it means the Bible is made up of myths and therefore, cannot be relied upon as reference to God’s mighty works.
Reinhold Niebuhr Theology Barth influenced Niebuhr theology. He agrees with the Bible teachings such as the principles of the Ten Commandments and the doctrine of the original sin. He says that sin is a social event. He adds that the sin of pride is not only in criminals but in people who take pride in their actions. One of the advantages of this theology is that Niebuhr is against injustices that are brought about by human arrogance and greed. Niebuhr criticized the Kun Klux Klan which discriminated against the blacks, Jews and Catholics. He says that such social injustices are created by self-centeredness among humans. His theology emphasized natural evolution as opposed to change. He also stressed on experience instead of theory.
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