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Showing posts from June, 2010

PTS Barth Conference in Photos: Days 1-2

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So, I don't have the time or energy to do a proper conference report. Instead, here are little teaser descriptions of today's (Monday's) papers, followed by some photos.

(1) Eberhard Busch opened his lecture with comments about Franz Rosenzweig and how Barth's ex-centric and missional ecclesiology is related to Rosenzweig's criticism of "atheistic theology."

(2) Christina Busman maintained that vestiges of how mission was conceived in the Christendom era remain within Barth's Church Dogmatics 4.3.2.

(3) Nate Kerr mentioned off the cuff that his paper is aimed at maintaining the notion that "mission makes the church" against those who want to say that "eucharist makes the church." He also mentioned that Hauerwas replied to his (Kerr) earlier contentions in this direction by saying that he (Hauerwas) didn't know how his (Kerr) contention is different than simply saying that "the church is mission," and that he hoped to e…

George Hunsinger Awarded the 2010 Karl Barth Prize!

That's right! You heard it here first - George Hunsinger has been named as the recipient of the 2010 Karl Barth Prize.

In the Jury's "Explanatory Statement," Bischop Dr. Hans-Jürgen Abromeit, Greifswald, Director Dr. Hans-Anton Drewes, Basel, and Professor Dr. Christiane Tietz, Mainz, conclude as follows: The UEK thanks and honors George W. Hunsinger for his exemplary theological thinking, for his political testimony and his ecclesial teaching in the sense of a truly “generous orthodoxy”, a world-oriented interpretation and practice of Church Dogmatics.Students are undoubtedly entitled to do a little basking in the glow of their doktovater's success. ;-)

UPDATE (6.21.2010) - PTS now as an announcement on its webpage.

2010 PTS Barth Conference

The 2010 iteration of Princeton Theological Seminary's Karl Barth Conference, held annually in cooperation with the Karl Barth Society of North America, begins on Sunday. Perhaps I will see some of you there. For the rest, I'll try to do some conference posting.

The Death of God? Food for Thought

Harold E. Hatt, “A New Trinity: One God in Three Deaths,” in Religion in Life: A Christian Quarterly of Opinion and Discussion 36 (1967): 67.Rather than looking to other traditions for inspiration, we need to release the power of our confession that God was in Christ. For example, we need to do away with the notion that religion has nothing to do with business and politics; for however piously religion may pronounce the word “God,” and however unctuously it may affirm its orthodoxy, this idea is the worst form of the affirmation of the death of God. Perhaps some are offended by the death of God because they have felt that God belongs to them by virtue of the fuss they make over him. Therefore, how dare anyone take him away? It is ironic that some of the people who express the most shock that anyone would say God is dead are the very ones who have most insistently and most cold-bloodedly killed God off in some of the basic areas of their lives. To say that God doesn’t belong in ce…

A Word from Barth to Our Political Situation

As I noted in the first ever post on this blog, “my grandmother always taught me not to discuss religion and politics in polite company, and since I’m discarding the bit about not discussing religion, I’m going to try to stick to not discussing politics.” My track record has proven that I wasn’t kidding.

Today, however, I feel compelled to fudge things just a little bit. This post isn’t about politics per se, but it is about what Christians – or, at least, one Christian (Barth) – could say about political reality. For my own part, it seems to me like our contemporary political reality is a particularly striking demonstration of the keenness of Barth’s insight. So, without further ado…

Church Dogmatics 4.1, 446-7:To live as a man means in effect to be at some point on the long road from the passionate search for a standard by which to judge our own human affairs and those of others, to the discovery of such a standard, its affirmation in the conviction that it is right, the first …

Barth on Christ’s Person and Work

Church Dogmatics 4.1, 126-7:[T]he being of Jesus Christ, the unity of being of the living God and this living man, takes place in the event of the concrete existence of this man. It is a being, but a being in a history. The gracious God is in this history, so is reconciled man, so are both in their unity. And what takes place in this history, and therefore in the being of Jesus Christ as such, is atonement. Jesus Christ is not what He is – very God, very man, very God-man – in order as such to mean and do and accomplish something else which is atonement. But His being as God and man and God-man consists in the completed act of the reconciliation of man with GodThen, in the accompanying fine print: We must not forget that if in the doctrinal decision of Nicaea and Constantinople and Ephesus and Chalcedon it was a matter of the being of Jesus Christ as such, these decisions had a polemical and critical character, their purpose being to delimit and clarify at a specific point. Th…

Barth, Millinerd, and the Analogia Entis

I wrote this as a comment for a friend's blog where this topic is under discussion. But, when I went to post the comment there, the system would only allow me 5000 characters. So, I'll throw it up here...

Coincidently, I'm not allowing comments on this post. Surf to the link above to discuss.

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OK, Matt – here is something of a fuller accounting. I’m going to attempt to address each of your theses – although not all individually and not in your ordering – as well as one or two other things.

(1) You really ought to read Keith Johnson’s new book on this topic. It is excellent, and will undoubtedly become the standard treatment of this issue in Barth, and remain so for a long time. That said, I’m not recapitulating his arguments (per se) in what follows.

(2) Mention of the Nazi’s occurs in this context because it was the Nazis who were on Barth’s mind when he was doing much of his rejecting of natural theology. Thus, their mention does not f…

John Flett on “Missio Dei” and the Trinity

I had the inestimable privilege of serving as teaching fellow for John Flett’s course on ecclesiology in ecumenical perspective, one of the last courses he taught before leaving PTS. It would be impossible for me to offer an account of whether and to what degree the students in that course learned anything, but I learned quite a bit. Now, Flett’s dissertation has been published, and I am drinking even more deeply from his unique slant on things. Just to be clear (caps are for emphasis - I'm not screaming at you!):

THIS IS A MUST-READ BOOK. Go buy it, and read it two or three times. Now. Get to it!

We should all be thankful to Flett for publishing this volume with Eerdmans, for it is accessibly priced. You therefore have no excuse for failing to buy (and, consequently, read) it. In any case, here is a juicy tidbit to wet your whistles.

John G. Flett, The Witness of God: The Trinity, Missio Dei, Karl Barth, and the Nature of Christian Community (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eer…

Mission: Read CD 4 by July

Well, by June 26, to be exact (don't ask why its this particular date - I have my reasons).

Yes, I'm going on a reading blitz in preparation for (hopefully) beginning to draft some dissertation material later in the summer. To get myself into the right theological imagination, I will read Barth's masterpiece from beginning to end (along with the posthumously published materials). I have my doubts about whether I will finish by my self-imposed deadline, but there is always hope.

I started this project yesterday, and got to page 102 in CD 4.1. Wonder of wonders, I even disagreed with a couple of those pages! Good God, what is happening to me?

In any case, stay tuned. I'm bound to post savory tidbits from time to time, along with some other fare. Updates about the Barth Blog Conference are forthcoming as well.