I’m going through the very beginning of the process of determining the subject for my dissertation. I would love to do something in medieval theological thought, but this doesn’t seem possible. My second choice would be Patristics, but I’m not certain this would be possible. My third choice would be something from modern to contemporary church history and thought. It was at the point of this realization that I had a most unwholesome thought.
Really, something on the Chicago School of Theology would hold my interest, but given the events that have transpired within my own keep-at-arm’s-length fundamentalism I had an almost diabolical thought. One that would make me a pariah within fundamentalism and perhaps even evangelicalism for decades to come.
Considering slightly less separatists’ love for the two Johns – Piper and MacArthur. I considered this title:
CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICAL PREACHERS
AND THEIR INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES:
VESTIGES OF THE BROAD SHADOW OF J. FRANK NORRIS
This does sound preposterous, but considering the maverick shenanigans that have catapulted their ministries, I’m not certain that they have fallen far from the tree. Considering that they have made controversy with the brethren where little to none exsisted (Zane Hodges the exception), overturned the orthodox statements of ecumenical councils (later recanting), and pinning some sensational terminology on a view of the Christian life that is as old as Augustine (remember hedonism?), they probably fit what I once heard was said to one of my professors about the Rev. Norris by his son:
“My dad was the biggest Jesuit that ever lived. He would do anything to draw a crowd.”
Can we honestly say, that in this one point, what these men did was much different? Certainly, we might be able to say that their ministries have more substance, and their characters are more sterling; but doesn’t the tendency toward the maverick and controversial demonstrate a genetic link?
Okay, I’ll stop now and let you ponder that; and, if I have any hostile readership, I’ll prepare for the incoming.