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Showing posts from April, 2016

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend…

…or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere.

Or, the past **two** fortnights in the theoblogosphere! It has been four weeks since our last link post. But, as usual, we return from riding the range of the interwebs to bring you some of the best in thought-provoking reflection.

Here’s what we’ve been up to here at DET:

Bender on Schleiermacher: Will Science Trump Creation Doctrine?What Am I Reading? George Hunsinger, “The Beatitudes”What Am I Reading? Wink's Naming the PowersWhy do christology? H. R. Mackintosh has 4 reasons (via Purves)Got General Revelation? Well, Isn't that Special!Francis Turretin’s Ecclesiology, 18.1: What comes first, church or doctrine?
And here is some good stuff from elsewhere:

What you need to know about Karl BarthThe five biggest reading mistakes and how to avoid themKarl Barth: Introductory ResourcesPersecute Me, Please: God’s Not Dead 2 and the Evangelical Lust for VictimhoodWhy is God Waiting (…

Bender on Schleiermacher: Will Science Trump Creation Doctrine?

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I recently was reading Kimlyn Bender's essay, "Christ, Creation and the Drama of Redemption: 'The Play's the Thing...'" when I came across a claim that grabbed my attention. Bender writes that Friedrich Schleiermacher told a friend not only that advances in modern natural science entail a reinterpretation of the Creator-creature relationship, but also that science might eventually render the Christian doctrine of creation moot altogether. Prescinding from this essay as a whole, with which I find much to agree, I hone in on this particular claim.

Bender writes:

[I]n his [second] letter to Lücke, Schleiermacher relates that the very notion of creation itself may need to be abandoned in light of a new scientific understanding of the world, which was that of a closed deterministic universe. Schleiermacher held that scientific advancement would lead to a comprehensive view of the world, a prognostication that has not come to pass, while the conception of a closed u…

What Am I Reading? George Hunsinger, “The Beatitudes”

I’ve been waiting for this book for over two years. I’ve had it pre-ordered on Amazon for over a year. I’m not sure why, but I decided to look it up last week to see if Amazon had a shipping estimate yet. When I did, I saw that there were two different listings for it. The one that I had pre-ordered was for a paperback, and its status remained unknown. But now there was another, a hardback, that – much to my chagrin! – was published back at the end of December!* Thanks to the wonders of Amazon Prime, I was able to get a copy in my hands expeditiously and I read it even more expeditiously. It was worth the wait!

George Hunsinger, The Beatitudes (New York: Paulist Press, 2015).
This is a very mature piece of exposition. Hunsinger has poured the gleanings of his career as theologian and churchman into producing a spiritually deep set of meditations. Here all his best theological tools are put not just to systematic but to practical, pastoral, and pious use. The exposition is seldom surpri…

What Am I Reading? Wink's Naming the Powers

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I've recently reread the provocative and fascinating opening volume of the the "Powers" trilogy by the late Walter Wink. The brevity of this book belies its erudition, its subtlety and its singular contribution -- to my mind, still not fully tapped -- toward a potential retrieval of the phenomenology of power pervading the New Testament.

Walter Wink, Naming the Powers: The Language of Power in the New Testament (Fortress, 1984).
The book has three sections. The first part casts a wide net, surveying the major terms and concepts of the principalities and powers found throughout the Gospels and Epistles. Part two offers a close exegesis of the most "disputed" passages relating to the powers, almost all of which are found in the Pauline and deutero-Pauline corpus. The final section, which could well stand on its own, outlines a bold, speculative and constructive framework for demythologizing the biblical powers language and reinterpreting it in light of the socio-p…

Why do christology? H. R. Mackintosh has 4 reasons (via Purves)

One of the things that Purves highlights in his discussion of H. R. Mackintosh is the way that theology and piety are inextricably linked. Theology arises from a certain kind of experience, we might say. Or as Purves himself puts it, “faith is the fruitful soil of doctrine” (79). Theology, then, develops as the church’s attempt to describe the experience, or dynamics, or way of being in the world engendered by – faith. Some of this comes to expression when Purves discusses how Mackintosh answers the question of why christology – or, detailed reflection upon the person of Christ, i.e., who he is – developed in the early Christian centuries. So, without further ado, here are Mackintosh’s four reasons to do christology.

Andrew Purves, Exploring Christology & Atonement: Conversations with John McLeod Campbell, H. R. Mackintosh, and T. F. Torrance (IVP Academic, 2015), 76.
Why do Christology? Mackintosh suggests that four motives may be found in the New Testament itself. (1) It was belie…

Got General Revelation? Well, Isn't that Special!

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Well, it's the Easter season, and we've been on hiatus here at DET. My blog-typing fingers have atrophied a little. May I be permitted, then, to do a little preachin' to the choir? The topic of today: What of our seemingly inexorable quest for general revelation?

I recently wrote a review of a fine book that, in one chapter especially (but really throughout the text) interrogates and questions Barth's ostensible rejection of natural theology and general revelation. In my hands now is another book -- you'll hear about it here soon enough -- that offers a spirited attempt to retrieve and reconstruct a robust account of general revelation, amid a vast array of liminal religious, aesthetic and moral experiences. Crucially, these experiences are framed in terms of pneumatology rather than Christology and are deemed to be encounters with the divine in daily life, apart from the economy of saving grace. (But is there really such thing as real human life apart from saving …

Francis Turretin’s Ecclesiology, 18.1: What comes first, church or doctrine?

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[Ed. note: I said in my introduction to this series, uncomfortably close to a decade ago, that “I intend in this series to skip the stone of my mind across the lake of Turretin’s ecclesiology.” I return to it now for various reasons, with the intention of filling in the gaps left by that approach.]

First Question: The necessity of the discussion concerning the church, and whether the knowledge of the church ought to precede the knowledge of doctrine.

Turretin begins his discussion of ecclesiology in the high polemical spirit that one has a right to expect from an “elenctic” theology. He gives a nod to this polemical context right at the start, and if will occupy him for the bulk of the section: “scarcely any other among the controversies waged between us and our opponents in this miserable age . . . seems to be of greater moment and more necessary than the disputation concerning the church” (18.1.1). But Turretin cheats a bit, architectonically speaking. This question is actually two di…

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend…

…or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere.

I know you can hardly believe your eyes, gentle readers, but it has actually been less than a fortnight since last link post! We’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, so there isn’t anything to report from DET. But I wanted to share a collection of links with you before our regularly scheduled posting starts back up on Tuesday.

Speaking of Tuesday, I’m excited to unveil to you all the new oldie-but-goodie series I’m reviving to fill the gap in my intellectual life left by completing (for now) my work on Reading Scripture with John Calvin (also available in pdf). It’s one for the hardcore dogmatics nerds amongst us.

Anyway, here are some links that you might find interesting to tide you over this last bit of our hiatus:

Professor Kathryn Tanner - Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism, Gifford LecturesCan Religion Explain the KKK?George Hunsinger: Evangelical, Catholic, and Reformed: Essa…