Tuesday, January 06, 2009

John Webster on Systematic Theology

John Webster, “Introduction: Systematic Theology” in The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology (John Webster, Kathryn Tanner, and Iain Torrance, eds: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007): 10.
The most illuminating systematic theologies are often characterized by (1) conceptual ingenuity, resourcefulness, and suppleness, which enable a projection of Christian claims suitable to draw attention to their richness and complexity; (2) conceptual transparency, which enables a more penetrating understanding of the primary modes of Christian articulation of the gospel; and (3) broad knowledge and sensitive and creative deployment of concepts inherited from the Christian theological tradition. By contrast, systematic theologies are less successful if they are conceptually monotonous or stiff, if concepts threaten to overwhelm or replace that which they are intended to represent, or if the concepts do not have a discernable relation to well-seated theological usage.

4 comments:

Alex Abecina said...

could you name a theologian that you think is "conceptually transparent" and also one that isn't (pt. (2))?

Also, is it book worth getting... it looks expensive!

WTM said...

John Calvin; Reinhard Hütter

WTM said...

This book is VERY expensive; I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift. It is a reference work, owning reference works is an undertaking of diminishing marginal return.

Alex Abecina said...

John Calvin - I agree.

I haven't read any Hütter yet, but plan on it when I take Theology 3. I'll take your comment as a forewarning.

Regent Bookstore doesn't even stock the title.