moderate Anglo-Catholic commentary on Romans pre 1950

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Dora Smith, Apr 25, 2021.

  1. Dora Smith

    Dora Smith New Member

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    I'm looking for a commentary that expresses what my father would have learned in seminary about St. Paul's epistle to the Romans.

    My father attended Nashotah House, a moderate Anglo-Catholic Episcopal seminary.

    I tried asking a seminary new testament professor and she referred me to an Anglican Evangelical author. The sort who believes in predestination and takes it literally, I guess.

    I suspect what my father was taught was more complex and more nuanced, and not exclusively evangelical. When he would pull out books and read to me they tended to be by or talk about very old and more broadly accepted sources of authority.

    Yours,
    Dora
     
  2. ZachT

    ZachT Active Member

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    Hi Dora, I couldn't be certain what your father might have learned in seminary, but if you're looking for a "complex, nuanced, not exclusively evangelical" moderate commentary on Romans that doesn't take every word of Paul literally, a great source is Richard Longenecker's work. His work on Romans is neither Anglo-Catholic nor Evangelical explicitly, although I'd reason it probably leans more towards the evangelical tradition.

    I understand that's not specifically what you asked for, but it may be in the vein of what you're looking for.
     
  3. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It's not specifically Anglican, but Karl Barth's commentary on Romans is quite good. Among other things, it's something of a pushback against Schleiermacher's theology; Barth believed that he had to yank Romans back (so to speak) in a more orthodox direction. But it is certainly no hardcore Calvinist tract. If your father was in seminary in the 1950's, I think it quite likely that he read at least some of Barth's work.
     
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  4. Dora Smith

    Dora Smith New Member

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    Thanks. But what's Schleiermacher's theology? I think I've actually not seen that name today!
     
  5. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It's kind of a long story, but in brief, Friedrich Schleirmacher was a German Reformed theologian who lived at the bridge between the 18th and 19th centuries (1768-1834). He is considered by many to be the father of the modern "progressive" Christian strain in the Protestant/Reformed world. I'm not sure I agree with that, but it is certainly true that Schleiermacher's theology was a major departure from the Reformed tradition from whence he came.

    For one thing, he tended towards a rather Gnostic view of Christianity (though not quite to the point of heresy, in my opinion). His Christianity was mystical, emotional, and inward-turning (hence the Gnostic aspect). He was also a proponent of universal salvation (or Christian Universalism) -- the idea that sinners being punished eternally in Hell is incompatible with the idea of a merciful God. This put him at odds with the Reformed tradition generally and Calvinists more specifically. He is also reputed to have denied the penal substitutionary aspect of Christ's crucifixion, and even denied the Trinity, but I can't speak to that -- I haven't read him in years and years, but I don't remember anything that extreme.

    Schleiermacher did quite a bit of writing on philosophy, hermeneutics, and epistemology. This was to the detriment of his Christian theology, in my view (and I think one that Karl Barth would share). Schleiermacher over-intellectualized on one hand and over-emotionalized on the other, and always in the wrong direction.

    Still, he's worth reading. His prose is fairly dense even for academic German, and he hasn't been translated into English all that well. Still, you should be able to find an English version of his best-known work The Christian Faith According to the Principles of the Evangelical Church. Many people only encounter Schleiermacher through Karl Barth's contra arguments, but I think he's worth reading on his own terms. I think Barth has his number, but he's no fool and he did some good scholarly work, particularly in hermeneutics.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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  6. Cooper

    Cooper Member Anglican

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    I am now in my 70's. However, I wish I could have spent some time at Nashotah House seminary way back when...

    :)