Friday, September 27, 2019

22 - Book Review: "Christian Thought from Erasmus to Berdyaev"

Christian Thought from Erasmus to Berdyaev

By Matthew Spinka,
Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice-Hall, 1962. 246 pp.

Reviewed by Georges Florovsky,
Harvard Divinity School

Church History,
Volume 31, Issue 4
December 1962 , pp. 470-471

In the preface to his new book Dr. Spinka acknowledges his debt to Nicholas Berdyaev. Berdyaev has helped him to find the way between liberalism and Karl Barth. The pattern of interpretation is derived from Berdyaev. "The Era is dying: let it die!" The Era of Humanism has come to its end. The new synthesis is not yet available. We are in the stage of crisis, of critical transition, of desperate search. It is in this perspective that Dr. Spinka narrates the story of Christian thought in modern times - up to Berdyaev! His selection of topics or of sign-posts in this adventure is fair and judicious. His exposition of individual systems is competent and reliable. One can but welcome the inclusion of Russian thinkers in the general survey of the history of Christian thought.