Who is Stanley Grenz?

Who is Stanley Grenz?

A few links and quotes


“Postconservatism is a current danger to evangelicalism.”

Dr Robert Thomas


“The design of Reclaiming the Center is to persuade its readers that Grenz, et al.’s renewing “center” is, in fact, at best marginalized, and that the possibility of maintaining evangelicalism lies in a reclamation of its philosophical, theological, and historical roots.”

Scott Oliphant

“Grenz’s reformulation of the doctrine of Scripture is so domesticated by postmodern relativism that it stands well and truly outside the evangelical camp (whether “evangelical” is here understood theologically or socially/historically)”


“A rigorous critique and assessment of his theological methodology will follow with the conclusion that his work goes beyond evangelicalism. This will be the first book length treatment on Grenz’s work on theological methodology and therefore will break new ground in this important area of study.”

Steven Knowles


“This embrace of postmodernism has led many of Grenz’s critics, including David S. Dockery and D.A. Carson, to question whether his theology retained anything distinctly evangelical.”


“… it doesn’t seem his particular influence is on the rise, but I’m sure other voices will fill that void in drawing people away from the orthodox gospel. I think Carson was right to question whether Grenz truly was evangelical.”

David Mathis w DesiringGod ministries





In Revisioning Evangelical Theology, Stanley Grenz argues that evangelicalism is more a “spirituality” than a “theology,” more interested in individual piety than in creeds, confessions, and liturgies. (23) Experience gives rise to-in fact, he says, “determines”-doctrine, rather than the other way around. (24) The main point of the Bible is how the stories can be used in daily living-hence, the emphasis on daily devotions. “Although some evangelicals belong to ecclesiological traditions that understand the church as in some sense a dispenser of grace, generally we see our congregations foremost as a fellowship of believers.” (25) We share our journeys (our “testimony”) of personal transformation. (26) Thus, “a fundamental shift in self-consciousness may be under way” in Evangelicalism, “a move from a creed-based to a spirituality-based identity” that is more like medieval mysticism than Protestant orthodoxy. (27) “Consequently, spirituality is inward and quietistic,” (28) concerned with combating “the lower nature and the world,” (29) in “a personal commitment that becomes the ultimate focus of the believer’s affections.” (30) Therefore the origin of faith is not to be attributed to an external gospel, but arises from an inner experience. “Because spirituality is generated from within the individual, inner motivation is crucial”-more important, in fact, than “grand theological statements.” (31)

Today, a growing number of evangelical theologians and leaders repeat the charge of Pelagius against Augustine, Rome against the reformers, and Protestant liberalism against evangelicalism: namely, that, in the words of Albert Schweitzer, “There is no place for ethics in the Reformation doctrine of justification.” Following evangelical theologians like Stanley Grenz, Brian McLaren and other leaders of the “Emergent Church” movement explicitly challenge sola fide as an obstacle to the main point of Christianity: following the example of Jesus. While authentic living brings tribute to the gospel, the former is increasingly becoming the gospel.


See chapter 10:






Al Mohler described this proposal as a “center without a circumference.” Millard Erickson noted that “it does not yet appear that [Grenz and others] have moved so far as to surrender the right to be called evangelicals, but such movement cannot be unlimited.” D.A. Carson went so far as to say “with the best will in the world, I cannot see how Grenz’s approach can be called ‘evangelical’ in any useful sense.”

David S. Dockery





Albert Mohler






“I may be totally incorrect in this analysis (and actually I hope I am!), but in seizing upon key Christian beliefs (“Trinity,” “eschatology”) that certainly stretch beyond the limits of easy human understanding, the authors seem to be advancing a subtle campaign against evangelical theologies that give a prominent place to rationality. While the recovery of a solid, trinitarian theology is surely necessary to a truly orthodox belief system, it seems that this “mystery” could very well be a most fitting “symbol” for a non-foundationalism that is inherently antagonistic to reason.”


“Stanley Grenz understands the nature of the Bible quite differently.  The Bible is not revelation, per se, but the first century Church’s reflection upon its experience of the Divine.”

“The Bible, Grenz asserts, is a book with a fundamentally human authorship.”

“The Bible, Grenz argues, is a product of a community of believers more than of Spirit-inspired men.”