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The Post-Christian Seminaries of 1970

October 19th, 2023 | 5 min read

By Steven M. Bryan

The cover story for the September 25, 1970 issue of Christianity Today was an article titled “Post- and Pre-Christianity” by Harold O. J. Brown. Brown later found his way to my alma mater, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where, as students, we dubbed him “The Juice.” Judging from the theological rigor of a piece written for what we think of as a popular magazine, the nickname was well-earned! Brown’s essay may be usefully set alongside a recent essay on a similar theme that has plenty of juice of its own. Kevin Vanhoozer (Brown’s one-time and my current colleague) describes the need for pastor-theologians in a post-Christian age. It is perhaps unsurprising that Brown, writing fifty years earlier, did not think that he was living in a post-Christian age, whereas Vanhoozer does. Far more surprising is why the two differ in their diagnoses, and why Vanhoozer’s essay is ultimately more hopeful, even if our cultural moment is, in many respects, more dire.  

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Steven M. Bryan

Steven M. Bryan is professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.