Postliberals, Truth, Ad Hoc Apologetics, and (Something like) General Revelation

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2003


In a recent article in The Christian Century, Gary Domen revisited the question that has often been raised since the publication of George Lindbeck's The Nature of Doctrine} "In what way," he asks, "do postliberals affirm the truth of Christianity?" The Nature of Doctrine generated a wealth of critical and appreciative responses from every point along the theological spectrum. The question of what it means to say that Christianity is true has been discussed at great length in numerous book reviews, review symposiums, journal articles, and books over the course of the past sixteen years. In response to such questions and criticisms, postliberals have attempted to clarify their epistemological assumptions and commitments. Second-generation postliberals such as William Placher and Bruce Marshall, along with Lindbeck, have argued that Lindbeck and other postliberals are "careful realists." They have pointed out that the ways in which their understanding of the truth and referential status of Christian language about God are profoundly indebted to the theology of Karl Barth.


Originally published as:

Crane, Richard D. “Postliberals, Truth, Ad Hoc Apologetics, and (Something like) General Revelation.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 30, no. 1 (Spr 2003): 29–53.

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