Roger Olson in his book, The Journey of Modern Theology, mentions three names who are “widely considered the trinity of great American Christian thinkers.” (268) They are often cited as the greatest American theologians of their respective centuries.
In the eighteeth century there is Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758).
In the nineteenth century there is Horace Bushnell (1802 -1876).
And in the twentieth century we have Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 – 1971).
Scot McKnight notes that Charles Hodge is America’s “neglected theologian.” In 2001 Time magazine named Stanley Hauerwas as “America’s Best Theologian.” And, though not American, Karl Friedrich Bahrdt (1741 – 1792), has been dubbed the “Worst Theologian Ever.”