Chapter

But Did It <i>Really</i> Happen?

Jason A. Springs

in Toward a Generous Orthodoxy

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395044
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866243 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395044.003.0004

Series: AAR Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion Series

But Did It Really Happen?

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The first part of chapter 4 addresses several of the most pressing critical challenges to Frei’s work leveled by evangelical theologians. The first is that he forgoes all concern for whether or not the biblical accounts of Jesus do, in fact, truly correspond to actual historical events. The second is that Frei reduces the biblical witness to a self-contained literary world. The second part of chapter 4 reassesses the Barthian dimensions of Frei’s work in light of the potentially devastating criticism that Frei’s reading of Karl Barth is decidedly undialectical, inordinately stressing the role of analogy therein, and that this deficiency has been transmitted to many of the so-called “American neo-Barthians” (or “postliberals”) influenced by Frei. The argument critically retrieves material from Frei’s dissertation, his earliest publications, and recently circulated material from his unpublished archival papers in order to make the case that Frei identified a complex interrelation of dialectic and analogy in Barth’s theology dating back as far as the second edition of Barth’s Romans commentary and reaching forward into the Church Dogmatics.

Keywords: historical reference; Carl Henry; Karl Barth; St. Anselm; evangelical theology; analogia fidei; dialectical theology; critical realism; nonfoundational epistemology

Chapter.  8607 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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