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We strengthen it with arguments--we clear it of objections--we enter into details--and, in short, we leave nothing unsaid that properly appertains to the subject." (3) This describes a significant portion of Carl's published work, though surely not its entirety.
Paul Tillich was Carl's dissertation adviser, and his influence shows up especially in Carl-treatiser's Sic-et-Non approach (Memoirs, 27-41).
argumentative [rather] than educational." (4) Especially since the mid-1980s, Carl has also power-walked the path of tract proliferation.
But why, especially when the landscape looks Lutheran, did Carl give up on Carl-treatiser and devolve into Carl-tractator?
The tractator temptation did not gain a hold on Carl all at once.
Carl was determined not to waste the signs of the times in the emerging "crisis in the church," the title of the first issue of Dialog: A Journal of Theology he was the founding editor-in-chief.
During the late 1970s, as a consequence of the Vanderbilt writing project, Carl took a decided turn toward what some might describe as a more conservative Lutheran theological direction.
Here, quite plainly, is the primal source of Carl's apoplexy gone wild, that is, gone tractarian!
In the Lutheran landscape from the mid-1980s forward, Carl appeared fully dressed in tractator attire, treading well-worn trails blazed by droves of self-styled apocalyptic tractators.
In 1991 then Presiding Bishop Herbert Chilstrom pleaded with Carl "to be specific" about allegations of "mutations of the gospel," Carl's admitted euphemism for heresy.
Sadly, for many who have learned much from Carl-treatiser, myself surely included, Carl-tractator's accommodation to the culture of American incivility, innuendo, allegation, and ridicule seems nearly complete, at least when Carl writes for Lutheran landscapes.
Carl fits his 1991 resignation from LSTC snugly within his standard tractator narrative of decline, and he does so by endorsing his long-time friend and colleague Robert Jenson's apologia: What made Carl Braaten overturn his life is a judgment: seminaries of the ELCA are now institutions emphatically inhospitable to theological work and instruction, and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.