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Showing posts from July, 2007

Dan Treier on Scripture and Church, Institution and Charism

Daniel J. Treier, Virtue and the Voice of God: Towards Theology As Wisdom (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 87.
History bears out that neither “institution” nor “charism” is an unqualified good. However, at least one may claim that New Covenant fulfillment of OT expectations makes some space for personal judgment within the church: the Spirit speaking in Scripture to the church, an anointing that enlightens the eyes of believing hearts, must retain a certain extra nos character, outside the church as well as the individual.

This necessity arises soteriologically; because we do not have the will to love as we ought, institutional Christian practice must not become so routine and all-encompassing that no room is left for interruptive or freely justifying divine grace. Such interruptions need not preclude God’s commitment to church practices as prime means of grace, but there remains a practical necessity: divine transcendence can serve as a potent critical principle for theology, …

Karl Barth Reading Group – Week 5

(Sorry about the delay in posting weeks 5 and 6. As I'm sure you deduced, the group has been over for some time but I was unable to post these because of the Barth Blog Conference, etc.)§ 6. The Knowability of the Word of GodThe reality of the Word of God in all its three forms is grounded only in itself.So, too, the knowledge of it by men can consist only in its acknowledgment, and this acknowledgment can become real only through itself and can become intelligible only in terms of itself.1. The Question of the Knowability of the Word of GodBarth begins this section with a review of the preceding, and then goes on to do some ground clearing with reference to knowledge.He is assuming that the Word of God is and therefore can be known, and that this knowledge is self-involving (as opposed to “mere cognizance”).Knowledge of God is the presupposition of the church and the church is the presupposition of the knowledge of God, which in each case means that the Word of God becomes knowa…

DET: 1 Year Blog Birthday

One year ago today, Der Evangelische Theologe went live. The first post was nothing special – just something of an introduction and manifesto, laying down some ground rules for myself as I embarked on this blogging scene. While that document still accurately describes the work that goes on here at DET, it could stand to be updated in light of what has developed over the past year. So, here are some reflections on three categories or themes that have emerged for me in thinking about DET over the course of this past year.

Collaboration

One emphasis that has emerged here at DET – and I like to think of this as something of a DET distinctive – is the amount of time and energy that has gone into collaborative projects (an index of collaborative projects can be found at the top of the right panel). Although there have been a few odd guest posts here and there, the major collaborative efforts were the 2007 Warfield Lectures delivered in March here at PTS by Kathryn Tanner, and the 2007 Kar…

Reading Scripture with John Calvin: 1 Peter 2.17

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1 Peter 2.17

[17] Show proper respect to everyone, love your fellow believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

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COMMENTARY:

Calvin has given me approximately one page worth of material to work with here. According to his interpretation, this verse is a summary of all that has gone before, and it is rather self-explanatory. The movement is from a general concern that should be had for all human persons, followed by a special concern for fellow believers, rooted in the fear of God, from which obedience to the government derives. Calvin adds that the emperor / king is specifically mentioned because it represents the most despised form of government, and that all other forms of government should be understood as included under this form.

If you are looking for one verse that encapsulates the Christian ethic, this is a good place to start. I highly recommend memorizing this verse, which isn’t a very daunting challenge. But, I also recommend that you DO NOT mem…

Kantzer Lectures in Revealed Theology

I was made aware during my recent trip to Wheaton College, by none other than Daniel Treier (access a list of volumes that bear his name here), concerning the upcoming Kantzer Lectures in Revealed Theology to be held this September at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Esteemed Aberdeen theologian John Webster will present six lectures entitled “Perfection and Presence: God with Us According to the Christian Confession.” So, gather all the information and, if you possibly can, attend these lectures!

Even though I won’t be able to attend these lectures, I am currently working to find some way to bring these lectures to DET. Stay tuned.

Thinking Blogger Award Challenge: Update

When David Congdon graciously bestowed the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ upon me a few months ago, I was at a loss as to whom I should then honor with this recognition. I decided upon a novel course of action: I would issue a challenge to a few bloggers who have been doing good work, but who I thought needed a little prodding to get them to the next level. Those bloggers were Darren Sumner, Michael Pailthorpe, and Jon Mackenzie (you can view my original challenge here).

Now, it is time for an update. I am sad to say that, although all three of these bloggers seemed to be spurred on by the challenge at first, only Michael has maintained his momentum. Well done, Michael! Jon and Darren have not posted in some time, and Darren’s site seems to be down. So, Michael – Keep up the good work! Darren – Where are you? Let’s go! Jon – I know it is summer, but you must have something theologically interesting to post about!

Also, in the original challenge post, I gave the award to one person (

DET Status Update

I have returned home to Princeton NJ after spending a week on Prince Edward Island (Canada), a very long weekend on Cape Cod (Massachusetts), and another very long weekend in Wheaton Illinois (the first trip that my wife and I have taken to the old alma mater). The different facets of the trip had different pleasures and discomforts, but we had fun and I was able to recover from the strain of the Barth Blog Conference and the Second Annual Barth Conference here at PTS.

In any case, I start French tomorrow and I am not excited about it. That, along with some other projects, will keep me very busy until September. But, I have a lot of content stored up, so you can look forward to regular and frequent posting. That regular and frequent posting will resume on the coming Monday, July 23rd. So, mark your calendars.

Until then, I’m trying to sort through my RSS feeder!

'For the Sake of the World' by George Hunsinger (Ed)

(Update: After 12 days of travel, I am currently enjoying a less than 24-hour layover in Princeton before heading off again. Thanks to those of you who are stopping by even though DET has been inactive. I will soon return DET to its usual standards of multiple thought-provoking and intellectually rigorous posts each week. Until then, enjoy this book review.)

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George Hunsinger (Ed), For the Sake of the World: Karl Barth and the Future of Ecclesial Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004).

The Karl Barth conference is recently past, as is the Karl Barth Blog Conference. So, I figured that I should read the volume that was spawned by the Barth conference that inaugurated the Center for Barth Studies here at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1999. (You can read George Hunsinger’s ‘report’ on the conference.) Having read this volume, I thought that I would share its general contours by making some comments on the chapters and responses, etc.

Introducti…