Abstract. Don Browning's intellectual artfulness is particularly evident in three areas: as analyst of basic assumptions in intellectual systems, as fundamental ethicist, and as mediating theologian. His work in each area has been extraordinarily fruitful, both theoretically and practically. In each area, however, his skillful handling of complex issues also has subtle limitations. This paper identifies those limitations, analyzes them as facets of an articulate but preemptive defense of a preferred theological outlook, and thus as a limited failure of Browning's otherwise broadly successful implementation of a critical hermeneutical method.