Continuing to read through this book by Roger Olsen. In Chapter 1 he discusses the Postconservative Style of Evangelical Theology. It is the notion of ‘style’, or stance towards theology, is interesting. He summarises the postconservative style thus:
“every evangelical theologian worth his or her salt is deferential towards orthodox doctrine as spelled out in the Great Tradition of Christian belief, the ancient ecumenical doctrinal consensus plus the consensus of the sixteenth-century Reformers. But it is not a closed book or a set of commandments written in stone; orthodoxy is not revelation in itself. Orthodox revelation is the product of human reflection on God’s revelation and therefore open to reconsideration in light of faithful and fresh readings of God’s word.”
He goes on to add a fifth element to Bebbington’s famous four-fold marks of evangelicalism in the form of deference to traditional, basic Christian orthodoxy within a higher commitment to the authority of God’s Word as the norming norm of all faith and practice. He charges that conservative evangelicals like Wells and Carson are both right and wrong at this point. They are right in holding that a strong commitment to correct doctrine matters, but,
they are wrong insofar as they elevate traditional doctrinal orthodoxy to incorrigible status where it is functionally infallible and therefore equal with divine revelation.