Paul Tillich (1886) left his native Germany because of the Nazis about the same time as Karl Earth, but Tillich came to the United States and became a faculty member of Union Theological Seminary, New York. He had spent World War I as a Lutheran chaplain in the German trenches and came out of it looking for something better than the theology that could not explain or help the trench soldier.
His resulting work, primarily expounded since his adoption of English, has led some to proclaim him as the Protestant theologian of our time. Others have branded him heretical. This situation is quite pleasing to him since he thinks of himself as living on the boundary between either/or. What he calls the Protestant principle emphasizes his refusal to idealize or idolatrize either side of the boundary. This principle rejects any effort to replace God with sacrament, creed, or even church, because God makes possible both sides of the boundary. God invests each side with power, with being, and thus God is the "ground of being" and the source of power. Therefore, to insist that one choose either science or religion, reason or revelation, objectivity or subjectivity, dogma or feeling is, on the one hand, to reject God and, on the other, to replace God. [excerpt]
An excerpt from Tillich's book, Systematic Theology, has been removed due to copyright restrictions. A more recent edition of this book is available here.
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Bloom, Robert L. et al. "5. Paul Tillich. Pt. XXIII: Theological Meaning." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 24-30.