Theology: Taking Inventory

There comes a season when a church man must take inventory of his life and thought, keeping what still seems valid to him and casting the chaff to the wind. For Reinhold Niebuhr, 73, the inventory spans half a century of ministry, including 32 years as a professor of Christian ethics at Manhattan's Union Theological Seminary and authorship of 20 volumes on theology and political philosophy. In a thin book called Man's Nature and His Communities (Scribner; $3.95), Niebuhr makes his summing-up. The volume is partly a confession of past errors, partly an ex...

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