Reformed Theology: Identity and Ecumenicity

Reformed Theology: Identity and Ecumenicity

Reformed Theology: Identity and Ecumenicity

Reformed Theology: Identity and Ecumenicity


Christian theology, classically defined, is faith's intellectual work of seeking understanding, not in order to prove its truth but to persuade those who hear it proclaimed. Theology done from within the Reformed tradition has long displayed this quality, and it continues to develop in response to our changing world. "Reformed Theology: Identity and Ecumenicity" is an excellent resource for readers interested in examining current trends and motifs in Reformed thought.

Written by systematic theologians from around the world, this book explores the meaning of the Reformed tradition and its relevance for the contemporary church. The contributors highlight ways that Reformed theology can enrich the church ecumenical even as they seek to realize a more catholic Reformed community of inquiry.

Contributors: P. Mark Achtemeier

Wallace M. Alston Jr.

H. Russel Botman

Eberhard Busch

Dawn DeVries

Margit Ernst

Gabriel Fackre

Douglas Farrow

David Fergusson

Botond Gaal

Colin Gunton

George Hunsinger

William Stacy Johnson

Yung Han Kim

Ulrich H. J. Kortner

Jan Milič Lochman

Bruce L. McCormack

Peter McEnhill

Daniel L. Migliore

Piet J. Naude

Milan Opocě nsky

Jan Rohls

Dirk Smit

George W. Stroup

A. van de Beek

Leanne Van Dyk

Michael Weinrich

Michael Welker

Myung Yong Kim

Carver T. Yu


Wallace M. Alston, Jr., and Michael Welker

Christian theology, according to its classical definition, is faith’s own intellectual work of seeking understanding or intelligibility, not in order to prove its truth but to persuade those who hear it proclaimed. It is the church’s continuing effort to achieve clarity about its own message and mission, but it is also the church’s attempt to reckon with understanding’s increasingly open and somewhat desperate quest for constituting faith. It was to this end, that faith might gain understanding and understanding be nurtured by faith, that the Center of Theological Inquiry convened a consultation of systematic theologians who are identified, explicitly or implicitly, with the Reformed tradition. The purpose of the consultation, which met at the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum in Heidelberg, Germany, on March 18–22, 1999, was to identify current trends and motifs in Reformed thought, to mine that tradition for resources that might enrich the church ecumenical, and to foster friendship and collegiality among and between theologians of the Reformed tradition throughout the world.

The thought that such a consultation might be valuable was occasioned by the publication of Toward the Future of Reformed Theology: Tasks, Topics, Traditions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), edited by David Willis and Michael Welker. In their introduction to that volume, the editors frankly admitted that their attempt to present a volume that would be representative of the entire spectrum of contemporary Reformed thought had not met with complete success. The volume as published was highly successful in documenting the liveliness of Reformed theology in Europe and North America by bringing into public discussion issues and authors of moment and promise, but it left before those who cherish the tradition the unfinished business of developing an ongo-

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