May 7, 2012

Daniel Akin on Bernard's Christology and Contemporary Evangelicalism

Since I am reading through Dr. Daniel L. Akin's dissertation on Bernard of Clairvaux, I thought I would blog this relevant quote for contemporary Evangelicals, even though it is not related to my usual subject matter. Dr. Akin wrote:
Evangelicalism is probably more impotent today than at any other time in its history. Contemporary evangelicals are often more influenced by Madison Avenue and Fortune magazine than the man from Galilee. Christian superstars parade before us today, especially through the medium of television, calling us to follow them. Spirituality is often associated with financial and numerical successes, and not personal development of character, virtue and Christlikeness. Bernard would scold evangelicals, and direct them back to the Scriptures, and back to Christ as our model for ministry, and of a Christian pleasing to God. Bernard would say look for servants not superstars. Look for humility not honors. Seek to develop Christian character that is lasting and substantial, not popular congratulations that are shallow and fleeting (How fleeting indeed in the light of the numerous scandals of the 1980's among...evangelicals). Here is a word from Bernard we desperately need to hear today. It is a word that is part and parcel of his Christology as discovered in scripture. Theologically his Christology is the theology of evangelicals. Practically, his theology of Christ is a praxis theology evangelicals need to rediscover. The horizons need to be bridged. The voice of Bernard needs to be sounded in our day.
Daniel Lowell Akin, Bernard of Clairvaux: Evangelical of the 12th Century—A Critical Analysis of His Soteriology (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Texas at Arlington, 1989), 79–80.


Andy Duke said...

How can one get one's hands on Dr. Akin's dissertation?

Tony Byrne said...

If you're at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, you might ask him for a copy :-) Otherwise, I only know of it being available for viewing at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he completed it. An interlibrary loan might also be possible.