Is it wrong to question the Christian tradition of God?
At Easter 1966, millions of Americans picked up what would become one of the most notable magazine covers in the history of the genre: TIME’s stark question asking “Is God Dead?” In retrospect, the cover—and the much-less-remembered actual piece that ran with it—represented a mainstreaming of the spirit of dissent and debate that characterized the era. The cover was back in the news last week with word that the main theologian profiled in the piece, William Hamilton, had died. Hamilton was 87; at the time of the 1966 article, he was a professor at Colgate Rochester Divinity School.
(MORE: From the Archives: Is God Dead?)
Hamilton was no militant atheist. He was not contemptuous of faith or of the faithful—far from it; he was a longtime churchgoer—and he was therefore, I think, all the more a threat to unreflective Christianity. At heart, he was questioning whether the Christian…
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