Sherry, Terrence Owen
About the author: Dr. Terrence Owen Sherry is an Ordained Minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Currently Senior Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Fullerton, California, he is also Adjunct Professor at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, teaching courses in both the MDiv and DMin programs. Dr. Sherry has earned theological degrees from the Claremont Graduate University (PhD), the University of Edinburgh (ThM) and the Yale Divinity School (MDiv). He is the recipient of Rotary International’s Paul Harris Overseas Fellowship, and has studied philosophy at both Brown University and the University of California, Irvine.2003 0-7734-6672-X
The Christology of H. Richard Niebuhr is an outgrowth – and a creative synthesis – of the two dominant streams of theological reflection manifest in the works of Ernst Troeltsch and Karl Barth. As such, it is best understood as a theo-centric Christo-morphism. Just as for Calvin the Scriptures are the spectacles without which God cannot be seen, for Niebuhr Jesus Christ is that lens by which and through which and in which we are able to see God as God. In order to demonstrate the soundness of this interpretation of Niebuhr, the study first locates the dynamic tension – material and formal – in which Niebuhr’s thought moves. Next, it shows how Niebuhr came to formulate his great theological principle of radical monotheism, and how this largely inchoate principle is uniquely and decisively shaped by the storied presence of Jesus Christ. An application of this Christo-morphic hermeneutic is then applied, not just to God, but to the great stage of the natural and historical world. The study then addresses inconsistencies in Niebuhr’s program, with some final thoughts on how a Christo-morphic construal can lead to a profound understanding of the Trinitarian reality of God.