Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hi. My name is Alex DeMarco, and I’m a new contributor here at DET.

“Whoever looks at Jesus Christ sees in fact God and the world in one. From then on they can no longer see God without the world, or the world without God.” [1]

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics

This is one of my favorite little quotes from Bonhoeffer, and it’s a good illustration of the kind of theology that interests me most.

My name is Alex DeMarco, and I’m a new contributor here at DET.

I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, where I was an enthusiastic youth group convert at a local Baptist church in my early teens. After a short stint in Arizona, I moved just north of Philadelphia, where I majored in biblical studies at what is now Cairn University—a small, evangelical, liberal arts university where I met my future wife Jenna, and where I learned the value of critical investigation, generous dialogue, and good writing. From there, I crossed the river and entered the MDiv program at Princeton Theological Seminary.

At Princeton I was drawn to the logical and philosophical rigor I encountered in the work of Friedrich Schleiermacher. If theology is, in Alister McGrath’s words, “taking rational trouble over a mystery,” then Schleiermacher certainly seemed to be taking the necessary rational trouble.[2] But it was Karl Barth who, more than anyone, seemed to display the reticence required by the subject matter as mystery. It was also Barth who turned my theological attention to Jesus Christ, in whom (if I may paraphrase Prof. Hunsinger), mystery has broken into history, to be seen and known.

If it was from Barth that I learned to find God in Christ, it was from Dietrich Bonhoeffer then that I learned to find Christ in the world and the world in Christ.

“Whoever looks at Jesus Christ,” he says, “sees in fact God and the world in one. From then on they can no longer see God without the world, or the world without God.”[3[

After my graduation from PTS in 2015, Jenna and I moved back (well, back for me) to Chicago. Aside from going online and pretending I’m still in seminary, I also enjoy reading, ping-pong, skateboarding, drinking good beer, eating good food, and spending time with the wonderful folks at All Saints Episcopal Church. I’m currently working as a mediocre barista at our local Starbucks (though, for your sake, I hope I’m better at blogging than I am at making lattes). And I’m exploring PhD study and/or ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church as possible futures.

Having long appreciated reading the thought-provoking content put out by DET, I’m very excited to now be joining the team!

While it can be discussed in the abstract, I believe (with Bonhoeffer) that Christian theology finds its true home in the concrete world—in the world of creaturely relationships, events, and experiences. Therefore, my posts will often attempt to point out where theological realities like sin, grace, reconciliation, etc. show up in the world.

After all, the God revealed in Christ is not some remote, otherworldly deity. The God revealed in Christ is Immanuel—God with us, right here, right now.

Blessings & cheers to you all!

Sincerely,

- Alex



[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, DBWE, vol. 6 (Minneapolis, MN: Fortres Press, 2009), 82.

[2] https://www.scienceandchristianbelief.org/articles/McGrath%20article%20172.pdf (pg.17)

[3] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, DBWE, vol. 6 (Minneapolis, MN: Fortres Press, 2009), 82.

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1 comment:

W. Travis McMaken said...

Excited to have you on the team, Alex!