The Vietnam War forced Protestant ethicists to consider Catholic teachings about war, and I learned much from Catholic colleagues. My outlook was also changed by ecumenical contacts of another kind.
How my mind has changed
This is not a classic conversion story, let alone a pietistic revulsion against the intellect. It is an account of how prayer has the power to change one's perception of the theological task.
For the past two years or so I have begun remembering youthful dreams.
Two inseparable, inexhaustible themes have fascinated me more and more: love and the Holy Spirit.
For seven splendid years (1953-1960) I studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Someone told me that visitors to the seminary were occasionally brought around to the tutors' office, where I worked as a graduate student, in order to glimpse "the Barthian"—of which species I was apparently the only one in captivity in that place.
In the summer of 1963 I was hanging around Harvard’s libraries, worrying about hermeneutics.
The poverty in the immigrant Dutch Reformed community where I grew up was not grinding poverty, but almost all families were poor. It was egalitarian; people were treated alike.
Changes of mind aren’t superficial or easy things. Mine have usually come as forced exits from the comfort of myself to somewhere more painful.
Developing an Israel-like view of the church