Thursday, July 5, 2012

Don't Quote Him: Paul Tillich

The PCUSA loves Paul Tillich.  He's the reason it is the mess it is in.  He belongs to a group of thinkers called Neo-Orthodox.  Karl Barth was the first neo-orthodox who did not believe that the Bible was God's word.  It was only someone's experience of God's word.  Huge mistake.

While I believe Barth was a Christian, this mistake led to Rudolph Bultmann, who believed everything about Jesus in the Bible was a myth, and eventually Paul Tillich.  Paul Tillich is the first one to really say that to be saved you did not have to change your lifestyle while misquoting Luther's saying "simil justus et peccator".  We are both justified yet still are sinners.  Luther, however, did not promote such anti-nomianism.  Luther believed that every day of a Christian's life should be one of repentance.

Tillich, however, was the first real emergent church leader.  Salvation was only through doing good things to poor people, and really, heaven is something you build here on earth.  We should not be quoting this in church.  He may have had good things to say about idolatry, but you can't use him because he did not believe in justification by faith alone through Christ alone.


  1. I heard Al Mohler quote an atheist who said that Paul Tillich was an atheist who didn't know he was an atheist.

  2. Barth actually rejected the notion that he is the father of neo-Orthodoxy. It's not so much that he did not believe the Bible was God's word but that he believed that Jesus himself was. For Barth, the Bible should be read with the idea that Jesus is the Word and the Bible points toward Him. “The contents of the Bible are ‘God,’” he says, and “The whole Bible authoritatively announces that God must be all in all; and the events of the Bible are the beginning, the glorious beginning, of a new world.” - Barth, Church Dogmatics I.1