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Neoorthodoxy

A loose term used to designate certain forms of twentieth-century Protestant theology which have sought to recover the distinctive insights and themes of the Reformation. The latter are seen as relevant to our modern predicament and as an essential part of the church's witness. Nevertheless, they require some restatement in the light of modern knowledge. The term is generally used by those who would not identify themselves with such a theology, either because it seems to deviate too much from the orthodoxy of the Reformation theologians and the classical Protestant confessions of faith, or because it is too narrowly orthodox. The term indicates a reaction against the liberalism of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with its reduction of Christian faith to general human and religious truths and moral values, and its relativization of Christianity through historical criticism and theories of the history of religions. By contrast, Neoorthodoxy represents an attempt to recover