Very Sad News: Colin Brown Has Died

The Fuller community mourns the passing of Colin Brown, professor emeritus of systematic theology at Fuller Seminary, who passed away on the morning of May 4, 2019. He was at home, surrounded by his children and loved ones, when he died. We are thankful for the life of Dr. Brown, and his significant scholarship, which he pursued with curiosity and vigor, as well as his influence as a professor known for his generosity.

“Colin Brown was a distinguished scholar and teacher whose contributions shaped Fuller for over three decades,” said Richard J. Mouw, president emeritus of Fuller. “Dr. Brown dialogued passionately with the voices of history to understand the nuances of the Western church’s Christology, and he strove unceasingly to enhance the intellectual life of the seminary and the church at large.”

Brown joined the faculty of the seminary in 1978 after several years as an instructor at other American, British, and German institutions. Primarily teaching courses on systematic theology, Brown was especially interested in Christology and also led advanced seminars on Jesus in contemporary Western thought, the politics of Jesus, miracles, and theological method. But Brown’s influence went far beyond the territory of theological thought.

“Colin and Olive were mentors for both Olga and myself,” said Juan F. Martínez, professor of Hispanic studies and pastoral leadership. “Colin opened doors for me at Fuller, specifically by inviting me to guest lecture on Latino and Latin American theological trends in one of his theology courses every year. Even though we had very different understandings of the theological task, he encouraged his students to be attentive to the contributions of those who decentered the European/American theological narrative.”

Along with scores of articles, Brown is known for his books Karl Barth and the Christian Message (1967), Philosophy and the Christian Faith: A Historical Sketch from the Middle Ages to the Present Day (1969), and Christianity and Western Thought: A History of Philosophers, Ideas, and Movements, Vol. 1: From the Ancient World to the Age of Enlightenment (1990). His book Jesus in European Protestant Thought (1985) was a finalist for the Philip Scaff Prize of the American Society of Church History, awarded to the best published work on church history originating in North America, and Miracles and the Critical Mind (1984) received numerous honors, including the Evangelical Christian Publishers’ Association Gold Medallion Award in the Doctrine and Theology category, first place on the Critics’ Commended List of Books in the Los Angeles Times, and a Logos Book Award. He also edited the four-volume New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (1986).

“He was passionate about his own research and methodology, but always generous to those of us who came at the subject matter with a different slant,” said Robert K. Johnston, professor of theology and culture. “Here is Fuller at our best.”

Etc.  May he rest in peace.

Posted in Modern Culture | Comments Off on Very Sad News: Colin Brown Has Died

The Truth Itself

American Christians live in a nation in decline. A nation that just a few decades ago stood at the height of global power. Indeed, at the end of the Cold War it was the sole superpower. Those were the halcyon days of the unipolar moment, the decade of the technology boom, and the Camelot of the Clinton Presidency. But post-9/11, two bungled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Great Recession, the specter of long-term national insolvency, and the rise of competitor nations and global terrorism, America is domestically and internationally an empire on the wane. By the end of the Second World War, America was the flagship western power. The sun had set on the former standard bearer, Great Britain. The collapse of the Soviet Union made America the global superpower.

But America appears to be a sprinter, not a marathon runner, in the game of world empire. Barely 60 years after leaving Britain behind, America teeters on the brink of decline. It staggers under unsustainable public spending and debt, economic malaise, demographic decline, expensive but ineffective military power, and, perhaps most significantly, a lack of confidence in or an ignorance of the cultural values and practices that propelled its success.

— Steven M. Studebaker, A Pentecostal Political Theology for American Renewal.

Via Rhys Schauweker

Cargill is an Idiot

Bob Cargill, who continues to make it his business to disparage me because I disagreed with his wife about gay marriage (she’s for it, and that’s her business so that’s fine with me) has now taken to twitter to point out that I have had pretty serious disagreements with RHE about theological matters.  And in his idiocy he seems to think that removing posts pointing out that disagreement is somehow a bad thing.

Quite the contrary.  When someone has passed from this life to the next, theological disputes hardly matter.  Accordingly, I removed posts highlighting those differences.

Only an idiot would think there something nefarious about that.  But Cargill, who imagines himself a tv bible scholar and superstar with the progressives, is happy to be an idiot.

And yes, Bob, when you die I will remove negative posts about you too.  It’s the decent thing to do.

The indecent thing to do, though, is to pretend that you are concerned for others when your only goal is to attempt to make me ‘look bad’.  Here’s why it won’t work:

  • I don’t care what you think.
  • I don’t care what your friends think.
  • I don’t need your approval.
  • I don’t need your help (and in fact you were very happy to have mine when you were dealing with Golb and his doings).

I will never need your help, approval, or friendship.  You are a small minded man who destroys formerly very good relationships because of disagreement over ONE issue.  Shame on you, you petty wretch.

God’s Calendar

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:
A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted.
A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for building.
A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for dancing.
A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them; a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing.
A time for searching, a time for losing; a time for keeping, a time for discarding.
A time for tearing, a time for sewing; a time for keeping silent, a time for speaking.
A time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace. (Eccl. 3:1-8)

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on God’s Calendar

May God Comfort Her Husband and Young Children

And give them peace.  37 is very young.  Far too young for death, in my view.

Rachel Held Evans, a popular progressive Christian writer and speaker, died Saturday morning (May 4) at age 37 after a brief illness. Evans had been in a medically induced coma for several weeks and never returned to an alert state. “This entire experience is surreal. I keep hoping it’s a nightmare from which I’ll awake. I feel like I’m telling someone else’s story,” her husband Dan Evans wrote in an update on Evan’s blog.

Having attended grieving families for 4 decades I know how dreadful this all is to her kinfolk.  May God Almighty help them.  Because no one else can.