Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

Difference between Orthodox and Contemporary Theology

QUESTION:

What's the difference between Orthodox versus Contemporary Theology?

I also need to understand the various cultural-based applications, philosophical foundations, and historical underpinnings of contemporary Christian theology.

Thank you!  Lord bless

From Brad

ANSWER:

Brad:

Thanks for stopping by. You have a good question, but it is a big one. Actually, it is too big to answer fully in this space. Consequently, let me give a broad answer.

When you say "orthodox" it can mean many things. It can refer to the various Orthodox churches such as Eastern, Greek, Russian, etc. In this sense it is contrasted with the Western church, which is the Roman Catholic and the Protestants who broke with Rome. The Coptic church of Egypt is the other historical major branch of Christianity. 

Orthodox can also refer to the traditional, central Christian faith as set forth in the Bible and various Church documents and creeds such as the Apostle’s Creed. 

Contemporary theology generally refers to the various systems of Christian theology that have come about in the West in the last 100-150 years. They are many. Some names would include Neo-orthodox, Liberal, Liberation Theology, Existential - and the list goes on. <br>

OK. Now to try to paint a broad stripe that separates the two classes of theology. Probably the central doctrine that divides the two camps is their view of the Bible. As I have distinguished above, Contemporary theology (depending on which brand) does not see the Bible as being the Word of God, but rather just another (among many) religious document written by men. Orthodox (traditional) theology, in contrast, sees the Bible as being the actual, absolute words of God directly from God to humanity.

Following the belief regarding the Bible, there are other central doctrines that separate the two camps. For example, the Deity of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, the need for salvation that comes only through Christ, reality of heaven and hell, resurrection of Christ and believers, the Second Coming of Christ, and the like. Orthodox theology believes these to be literal and true while Contemporary theology does not. 

Brad, you might want to go to the Statement of Faith at Newman Bible Academy to get a statement of the core beliefs that reflects orthodox theology. 

Hope this helps.

Dr. Newman

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