The Nov. 13 edition of The Living Church is available online to registered subscribers. The Rev. Thomas N. Buchan III, a Church historian at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, writes about a memoir by Thomas C. Oden, an acclaimed theologian who taught for decades at Drew University:
A Change of Heart: A Personal and Theological Memoir tells the story of the life and career of Thomas C. Oden, until his retirement and appointment to emeritus status in 2004 as the Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology and Ethics at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. The author of 50 books, Oden is now perhaps best known as the general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (published by InterVarsity Press) and for his work as an advocate for church renewal through a retrieval of an ancient and orthodox doctrinal consensus.
His memoir is the story of his remarkable career, including a very different “first phase,” from his childhood in rural Oklahoma, to the leftist political activism and theological revisionism of his young adulthood, to his theological education under the tutelage of leading Protestant theologians, including Albert Outler and H. Richard Niebuhr, to his pioneering and innovative theological scholarship and dialogue with theological and philosophical giants of the 20th century, to his vigorous participation in the modern ecumenical movement, to his dramatic crisis in the faith he had fashioned for himself. The titular change of heart came later, turning him back to the Church’s faith in the Living Word, the changeless and eternal One who humbles the proud, who makes foolishness of the wisdom of this world, who teaches sinners in his way, and who makes all things new.
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