Tomorrow morning I drive to Dubuque, Iowa. I will share in a special evening, at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, where a number of us will honor the life and work of Dr. Donald Bloesch, one of the greatest evangelical theologians of our time. Bloesch is not widely known to ordinary folks but he is profoundly respected within the academy.

I first met Donald Bloesch about thirty years ago. I began to read his work shortly thereafter. Only about eight years ago did we actually become freinds. I would now call Dr. Bloesch my mentor in many important ways. First, he has profoundly influenced my thinking on many levels. He has also helped me deepen my spiritual journey in terms of prayer and devotion. I believe I comprehend the centrality of Jesus Christ in Scripture better because of Donald’s personal piety and his crystal clear teaching on Christian spirituality.

Bloesch, like the earliest Protestant evangelicals, is a theologian of "Word and Spirit." He believes reason must always serve faith, not faith reason. This method has transformed my approach to theology and removed a great deal of hubris from my own systematic approach to theology. His seven volume magnum opus, Christian Foundations (InterVarsity Press), has recently been completed. Amazingly, he dedicated the seventh volume to this ministry and my renewal work. This fact occasioned my particpation in the April 12 celebration. These volumes, I believe, provide the discerning reader some of the finest interaction with catholic evangelical thought in the English language today.

One of Bloesch’s more important calls is for the church to avoid ideologies. Both the left and the right need his prophetic counsel desperately. He writes:

"The church in our time can only become truly prophetic when it awakens to the reality of the ideological temptation. Only when it successfully begins resisting the beguiling promise of ideological support will it be free to speak the Word of God with power and boldness."

This is precisely why the voices on both the left and right, in the currrent church scene, are generally muted when it comes to saying a truly prophetic word for the Lord.

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  1. Tim Brown April 12, 2005 at 10:03 am

    Amen to avoiding ideologies. It is a temptation that has indeed weakened the voice of the church. It’s hard to have the “vox dei” when we are entrenched into the GOP, DNC, or other cause.
    I recently saw an editorial in which the sign for GOP was being repainted to read “GOD.” How sad.
    I find it instructive that both St. Matthew the Tax Collector and Simon the Zealot were, in the end, not known primarily not for their stance for or against Rome. They became famous for that for which Christ had redeemed them–to be a followers of Christ. May we all ascend to that godly label.

  2. P. Andrew Sandlin April 12, 2005 at 2:02 pm

    It’s most encouraging to see you enter the blogsphere. I too have been heavily influenced by Bloesch. His aversion to ideology is a welcome call in the present polarized climate in both church and culture.

  3. keith April 15, 2005 at 5:38 pm

    Is Bloesch’s worth purchasing? CBD has it for about $70, but is it really worth the investment (foregoing other literature as well as the time involved)?

  4. John H. Armstrong April 15, 2005 at 9:54 pm

    Donald Bloesch is one of the finest minds in evangelical theology in the second half of the twentieth century. Read him and read him very carefully. Do not give up if you do not at first understand all he is saying. Listen to him, interact with his ideas, disagree (as you will), but keep reading. His thinking is worth the effort. His balance and Christocentric approach is solidly evangelical. Some conservative Reformed people do not like him because he is not a monergist (but he is most clearly not a synergist either). Give him a fair reading and you will, I predict, profit immensely from his fresh approach.

  5. Steve Jackson April 17, 2005 at 7:46 am

    I have reviewed all seven volumes on Amazon. You check out the above URL.

  6. Steve Jackson April 17, 2005 at 7:49 am

    Apparenly, if you click on my name you will see my reviews.

  7. Two-Edged Sword April 20, 2005 at 5:08 pm

    John Armstrong

    John Armstrong has a new blog…. One of his first efforts is to proclaim ideology is bad…. I wish Rev. Armstrong would have defined what he means by ideology.

  8. arezoo March 11, 2006 at 8:55 am

    pleas send some statistics about blasphemy in the world for me.
    iIread yuor article and enjoyed it alot.
    And introduce some sources about feminism and misogenism,that is research topic.

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