Mike Bird has it. Oden was very good in his earlier days but admittedly went a bit off the rails in his latter. Nonetheless, he was a good scholar and we all benefit from his work. May he rest in peace.
Oden was a former liberal who turned “orthodox” after discovering the church fathers. He was deep in liberalism, writing his dissertation on Freud and Bultmann – kerygma and counselling. But the church fathers turned him towards the light of the evangelical and apostolic faith, for which he became a key advocate. He exposed the suicide of liberalism in his book Requiem: A Lament in Three Movements which is the best critique of liberal theology I’ve ever read (the second best is Thomas Reeves, The Empty Church). I will remember Oden for his attempt to advocate a form of “consensual Christianity,” which is basically C.S. Lewis’ “mere Christianity” reading the church fathers and John Wesley.