Dear Young Theologians…

Pride and hubris are inappropriate for your field of endeavor.  Grandiose claims about this or that thinker or system aren’t your proper attire because familiarity only comes with time and hard work. 

You aren’t a Barthian simply because you’ve read three of Barth’s books.  You’re a Barthian when you’ve read Barth in his fullness AND taken the time to digest and appropriate his ideas.  AND after comparing him to various of his peers.

The same goes for Tillich or Moltmann or Pannenberg.  And Brunner.

In sum, stop pretending you know more about theology than you actually do and instead do the hard work of reading immense amounts and processing all of it and thereby become a theologian by practice.

When a 20 something says that Tillich was a man before his time the only thing you can do is laugh at the silly hubris and simplemindedness of the inexperienced thinker’s unfounded claim.

Young theologians, don’t make yourselves into absurdities via pride.  Get to work.