Kornelis Miskotte: A Biblical Theology

Susquehanna University Press, 1997 - 156 páginas
This is essentially a concise introduction to the theology of Kornelis Miskotte, a Dutch theologian, particularly as to how his approach to "theology and culture" shapes his view of the Old Testament. After a brief biography, this study discusses the sources of Miskotte's thought, his approach to Judaism, and his interpretation of the Old Testament.

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I appreciate the fact that at long last, here is an overdue English commendation on Dutch theology from a seemingly distant age in the 50's-60's. From admittedly just a preview reading on my part- Kessler points out and substantiates K.H. Miskotte's Barthian theological grounding and their joint aversion of anything resembling natural theology. Kessler describes the post WWII settings in Holland, that gave final form to the theology of Miskotte, in his "Magnum Opus" book "When the Gods are Silent" (Collins 1967), but earlier in German and the Dutch original subtitled as 'about the meaning of the Old Testament'. Ironically, in the first instance Miskotte addresses modernity as 'humanity beyond tutelage' in this fashion. However Kessler is also aware that Miskotte goes further than Barth in that he touches on Christianity's achilles heel on how the relationship of the Old and the New Testaments should be structured and held. This leads on to how Judaism, as exemplified in their historical regard for the NAME of YHWH has an inherent contingent approach, whereas Christianity through the christological and historical processes has erected dogma, doctrine and ecclesial barriers that run contra to the inherent and universal human contingent pre-suppositional stances. Kessler in this book gives us a picture of the man and his theology, however he has done marvellously well with this view of Heiko Miskotte, his time and theological contextual envelope. He notes the prophetic ring and warnings implicit in Miskotte's theology, a theology that I understand issues an address of admonishment to Judaism as well as to all varieties of Christian faith by their inevitable reliance on their own versions of natural theology and their associated human constructs. From that warning he holds the door open for Jew and Christian in renewed dialogue and concentration upon 'a first held love and devotion', to re- enter in to G-D's elective future, though perhaps on parallel paths and in different times. Such advocacy may also apply to inter-faith dialogue for other faiths and indigenous faith modalities. Though the fact, that I am also a Dutch emigre(e), and do have an uncanny familiarity and sympathy with Kessler, as well as earlier with Barth and Miskotte, may well colour this review. Perseverance with Barth has always had its own reward, likewise Kessler opens up the Dutch/ Continental freedom theology of Miskotte with this sympathetic treatment of a 20th century socialist poet/ seer/ theologian of the very highest order; and all that in fluent English. What more can one want.
Rein Zeilstra (NZ).


Miskotte the Man
On the Sources of His Thought
Church and Synagogue
Religion Paganism and Nihilism
The Old Testament
The Biblical ABCs
Edda en Thora Chapter 1
Bijbels ABC Chapter 9
The Election of Israel
Scripture Index
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Página 61 - The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness...
Página 63 - And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee ; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Página 132 - We shall never be clearly persuaded, as we ought to be, that our salvation flows from the wellspring of God's free mercy until we come to know his eternal election, which illumines God's grace by this contrast: that he does not indiscriminately adopt all into the hope of salvation but gives to some what he denies to others.
Página 50 - God; yea, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?
Página 50 - Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.
Página 47 - We begin by stating that religion is unbelief. It is a concern, indeed, we must say that it is the one great concern, of godless man— In the light of what we have already said, this proposition is not in any sense a negative value-judgment.
Página 86 - Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
Página 76 - I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Página 113 - Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.

Acerca del autor (1997)

Now retired, Martin Kessler, who holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University, taught at Waynesboro University, Clarkson University, and SUNY at Albany. He has served as pastor in the Reformed Church in America and the Lutheran Church in America. He resides in Danville, PA.

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