Title page for ETD etd-07192011-141014

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Kim, Junseop
Email junseopkim@yahoo.com
URN etd-07192011-141014
Document Title A critical evaluation from an evangelical perspective of the theological viewpoint of the Yale School
Degree MTh
Department Dogmatics and Christian Ethics
Advisor Name Title
Prof D P Veldsman Supervisor
  • The Yale School
  • scripture
  • intratextuality
  • historicity
  • evangelicalism
  • etheics of virtue
  • cultural-lunguistic model
  • Jesus Christ
  • liberalism
  • narrative
  • postliberalism
Date 2011-04-08
Availability restricted
The Yale school is the new theological movement of confessional Christianity, especially evident in North America during the late twentieth century, associated with certain scholars from the Yale Divinity School. In contrast to liberalism, which aimed to adapt Christianity both to American mainstream culture and to Enlightenment epistemology, the Yale school emphasizes the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. Thus, a similarity can be found between the Yale school and evangelicalism. For the latter also cherished the heritage of the church concerning Scripture and Jesus Christ.

As the debate between Hans Frei and Karl Henry in 1987 and the 1995 Wheaton Theology Conference demonstrated, there is a clear difference between the two movements. To produce meaningful dialogue, between them, we need to analyze their main theological assertions and to assess them fairly. This study, therefore, chooses to examine the main ideas of both the Yale school and evangelicalism, and to evaluate the former from the latter’s perspective.

The Yale school is called postliberalism or narrative theology because the Yale school objected to liberalism and its foundationalism, and emphasized the narrative character of Scripture and the stories-based community.

Among the Yale theologians, George Lindbeck insisted on the cultural-linguistic model of religion and the notion of intratextuality as truth in the contemporary ecumenical context. Hans Frei aimed at the rediscovery of biblical narrative and the recognition of Jesus from the viewpoint of his identity rather than of his presence. Stanley Hauerwas criticized the dominant liberal ethics in contemporary American society and established the ethics of virtue, which originated from the Bible stories.

Evangelicalism generally treats as its core beliefs the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the authority of Scripture, individuals’ experiences of conversion and sharing the faith through evangelism. Contrary to postliberalism, McGrath emphasizes the historicity of the events in Scripture and the correspondence theory of truth. After all, McGrath feels uneasy about postliberalism on account of its apparently unclear and unconvincing attitude to those sensitive issues.

In conclusion, from the evangelical perspective, the Yale school is assessed to contain certain aspects to be commended and others to be criticized.

© 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Kim, J 2011, A critical evaluation from an evangelical perspective of the theological viewpoint of the Yale School, MTh dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07192011-141014/ >


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