A Liberating Theology? (Donny Friederichsen)

In several recent conversations with friends who pastor "Gospel-centred" churches, the topic of Liberation Theology has come up. In the course of these discussion, I came to realize that I was not as familiar with the basic tenets of liberation theology as I ought to have been. I had not actually read any liberation theology. As strains of this theological system make inroads into self-identifying Evangelical and Reformed churches, I figured that I owed it to myself to do research on it. I started by reading Leonardo and Clodovis Boff's book Introducing Liberation Theology, as well as James Cone's book A Black Theology of Liberation. I realize that both of these books are dated, but are, nevertheless, representative of this theological system. Most modern derivations of liberation theology are building off the main ideas found in these classical formulations. I also read Anthony Bradley's excellent book Liberating Black Theology as an important modern critique of Black Liberation Theology. In a culture where we speak often about things like inequality, I can see the appeal of Liberation Theology. There is a great compassion for the poor and the oppressed in it. But my reading left me with more questions than answers about the usefulness of this theological stream. Given the vows and commitments to Scripture and the Westminster Standards that I, as a minister in the PCA, have made, these are questions that I think have to be answered before one would encourage Liberation Theology as a useful stream of theology for Gospel-centered churches. In order to ask those questions, I want to briefly summarize what Liberation Theology and Black Liberation Theology and then ask these questions with some commentary. These questions will range a number of categories but the two primary and fundamental categories relate to the doctrines of Anthropology (and the related doctrine of Soteriology) and Revelation. Liberation Theology and Black Liberation Theology "Liberati...

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