Showing posts from March, 2007

Ninth Annual Abraham Kuyper Prize Lecture: Dr. Richard J. Mouw

Note: The below are my notes from Dr. Mouw’s lecture. Hopefully they are an accurate representation, but I’m sure that I have shaped the content a bit with my reception. I hope that you find the material stimulating. For more information on the Kuyper Consultation going on today and tomorrow here at PTS, check out the Kuyper Center website . ============================ Princeton Theological Seminary, Miller Chapel - Thursday, March 29, 2007 at 7:30 PM “Culture, Church, and Civil Society: Kuyper for the New Century” David Novak compared Barth to those who want Christianity to retreat into sectarian enclaves, and sees this as a weakness in Barth. He wished Barth had read Abraham Kuyper and learned from him, although Novak admits that Kuyper wasn’t in Barth’s theological league, witch is true. But there are other theological leagues, and Kuyper stands out as a giant in the league of public theology. Most of his output was produced on the run and his theological work was done closel

Schleiermacher on Natural Religion

Schleiermacher on Natural Religion Friedrich Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers (Edited by Richard Crouter; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). “In the actual realm of religion, in its particular forms, in the positive religions that you decry as merely negative, among the heroes and martyrs of a specific faith, among the enthusiasts of specific feelings, among the worshipers of a specific light and individual revelations; there I shall show them to you at all times and among all peoples. Moreover, it is only there, nowhere else, that they can be met. Just as no human being can come into existence as an individual without simultaneously, through the same act, also coming into a world, into a definite order of things, and being placed among individual objects, so also a religious person cannot attain his individuality without, through the same act, also dwelling in a determinate form of religion. Both are the effect of one and the same moment,

Annual PTS Used Book Sale - 2007 Edition

Each year, the Stewardship and Mission Committee here at Princeton Theological Seminary organizes a used book sale, the proceeds of which go to benefit seminaries around the world. Check out the official PTS press release about this year’s sale. Anyway, the book sale is one of the highlights of my year. The prices are great, and, the PTS community gets a special ‘preview’ of the goods. What that means is, before the used book dealers show up, all we students get to snatch up the best volumes. I only bought one or two volumes my first year here at PTS. Last year I picked up three or four. But, this year was different. While I didn’t go nearly as crazy as some of my colleagues, who were eagerly filling boxes with God knows what little gems they were finding, I did score a nice batch. Here they are in the order that they were stacked when I paid for them: Hans Kung, The Church Gerhard Ebeling, Luther: An introduction to his thought Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther Han

2007 Warfield Lectures: Lecture 6 - "Workings of the Spirit"

It is finally over. Chris' notes and comments on Dr. Tanner's final Warfield lecture , entitled, "Workings of the Spirit", are avialable over at Disruptive Grace . Be sure to check it out. This week has been tiring, but very stimulating and very rewarding. I'm glad that David, Chris and I were able to blog the whole of the series. Hopefully we can pull off a similar feat next year.

2007 Warfield Lectures: Lecture 5 – "Death and Sacrifice"

Lecture Notes In this lecture, Tanner intended to develop the claims made in her Jesus, Humanity, and the Trinity . Her intent is to show how incarnation helps us revise traditional explanations of the cross’ significance in ways that do justice to womanist and feminist citicism of traditional atonement theories. The first third (or so) of the lecture was a sketch of traditional theories of the atonement (moral influence, Christus victor , penal substitution, vicarious satisfaction, and happy exchange), and the critiques leveled against them by womanist and feminist theology. Most readers of this blog are familiar enough with contemporary theology that I need not repeat all this. Tanner proposes an incarnational view of the atonement, such that the incarnation becomes the mechanism of the atonement, replacing the satisfaction and substitution mechanisms, and providing a mechanism for the victor and exchange models. It is in virtue of the incarnation that humanity is saved, first Chr

2007 Warfield Lectures: Lecture 4 - "Kingdom Come"

Chris' (quite lengthy!) notes and comments on Dr. Tanner's fourth Warfield lecture , entitled, "Kingdom Come," are up over at Disruptive Grace . Be sure to surf over and check them out. Two more lectures to go!

2007 Warfield Lectures: Lecture 3 - "Trinitarian Life"

David has posted his notes and comments on Dr. Tanner's third Warfield lecture . This is the half-way point. Stay tuned for the rest!

2007 Warfield Lectures: Lecture 2 – “Grace without Nature”

Lecture Notes In the opening lecture of the series, Dr. Tanner set about developing a theological anthropology that did away with the notion of a human nature as independent from relation to God, a ‘pure nature’. She tried to show how a self-contained human nature dissolves when human life is understood as created in the image of Christ. This said, What does grace now become? Grace has always been understood in relation to nature, and if we do away with this ‘nature’, then how do we conceive of grace? Tanner casts her discussion of these manners in terms of a conversation with the work of De Lubac, which Tanner takes to be basically Thomistic. An important aspect of this exploration is the idea of an innate desire for God. This is one way to keep from making grace to be simply an add-on to human nature. However, to frame things in this way is to reintroduce a notion of ‘pure nature’. Grace seems like a requirement for human life and human life looks like nothing without grace.

2007 Warfield Lectures: Lecture 1 - "In the Image of the Invisible"

David Congdon has posted his notes and comments on the first Warfield lecture by Dr. Tanner. Be sure to head over there and check it out – he has done a good job with this first one. Hopefully we can live up to his high standard. Anyway, I have included a few pictures I took at the first lecture below. I’m sorry for the poor quality, but I was trying not to use the flash and it was a very dimly lit room. The Seminary will undoubtedly post some very high quality photos on their website in the coming weeks, so watch for those. Here are comments on the photos in order of appearance. The podium to be occupied by Dr. Tanner over the course of the week, with Dr. Warfield’s portrait above. An excited student preparing for the lecture. President Iain Torrance introducing Dr. Tanner. David and his wife Amy, both hard at work. An attentive student. Dr. Tanner, lecturing.

2007 Warfield Lectures: Introduction

Named in honor of Annie Kinkead Warfield, the wife of of B. B. Warfield - the last great member of the ‘Old Princeton School’ of North American Presbyterian theology, each year Princeton Theological Seminary welcomes an esteemed Christian theologian and / or intellectual to present a series of lectures. This year, Dr. Kathryn Tanner will be delivering the Warfield lectures beginning at 7:00 PM on Monday, and continuing until after the final lecture Thursday evening. About Dr. Tanner (excerpted from the Chicago Div. School webpage): “Kathryn Tanner does constructive Christian theology in the Protestant tradition, with the intent of addressing contemporary challenges to belief through the creative use of both the history of Christian thought and interdisciplinary methods, such as critical, social, and feminist theory.” It is my pleasure to announce that David Congdon (DC, Fire and Rose ), Chris TerryNelson (CTN, Disruptive Grace ), and myself (WTM) will be posting notes and comments o

McGrath on Torrance on Natural Theology

Alister McGrath, Thomas F. Torrance: An Intellectual Biography (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1999). “Torrance explicitly critiques the notion of analogia entis - the idea, especially associated with Thomas Aquinas, that there exists some intrinsic likeness between creator and creation arising from the creative action of God. The fact that there exists some form of correspondence between the creator and creation is not due to an inherent relation of likeness, but to the free and gracious decision of God that some such correspondence shall exist. We are thus dealing with an analogia gratiae rather than an analogia entis . There is no intrinsic capacity on the part of nature to convey God, nor is the created element as such part of the content of revelation. For Torrance, revelation must be understood to be self-revelation of God. "It will thus be clear that Torrance considers a ‘natural theology’ which regards itself as independent of God’s self0revealation as a serious challe

Dark Energy / Matter and, Can we Reconcile Quantum Theory with General Relativity?

I don’t very often post links, but I couldn’t pass this one up. The New York Times has recently published an extensive article entitled “Out There” (by Richard Panek) that explores the contemporary condition of cosmological physics and our best understandings of the universe, which – as it turns out – may turn out to be rather misguided. Of course, I am no authority on these matters so I cannot pass judgment. But, you should read this article. Here is a bit of text that I found enticing: ‘Time to get serious.’ The PowerPoint slide, teal letters popping off a black background, stared back at a hotel ballroom full of cosmologists. They gathered in Chicago last winter for a “New Views of the Universe” conference, and Sean Carroll, then at the University of Chicago, had taken it upon himself to give his theorist colleagues their marching orders. "There was a heyday for talking out all sorts of crazy ideas,” Carroll, now at Caltech, recently explained. That heyday would have been

Karl Barth on the Sabbath

Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics III/4, 69. “The Church must not allow itself to become dull, nor its services dark and gloomy. It must be claimed by, and proclaim, the lordship of God in the kingdom of His dear Son rather than the lordship of the devil or capitalism or communism or human folly and wickedness in general. It must still see its responsibility towards its members and the world in the fact that when it is assembled there always sounds out the judging, attacking, critical, yet clear and unambiguous Yes of God to man. Who otherwise will believe it when it says that the holy day is made the day of joy for men and therefore the day of God?”

Calvin on Theology and Taverns

John Calvin, sermon delivered on June 19, 1555 on Deuteronomy 5:11, in John Calvin’s Sermons on the Ten Commandments (Edited and translated by Benjamin W. Farley; Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2007), 95. “Today…do men not give themselves a license when they speak about the name of God in their imagination? And when they enter into dispute with the holy Scripture in the shadow of a mug of wine; in taverns, and by tables, do they humble themselves and acknowledge their ignorance and weakness and ask from God [the gift] of his holy Spirit in order that his secrets might be shared with us as it ought to be? No! Rather their discussions there are a mockery and expose that there is not only a dearth of religion in the world today but scarcely any [feeling of] need for it as well.” ================================== Follow @WTravisMcMaken

Index: Book Reviews

This post serves as an index for my posts reviewing books. It will contain those posts in my "What Am I Reading?" series, as well as other miscellaneous reviews. ================================= What Am I Reading? 7.27.06 -> Peter Martyr Vermigli , "Treatise on the Eucharist" 8.22.06 -> John Webster , Barth's Moral Theology 9.7.06 -> T.F. Torrance , Divine and Contingent Order 9.28.06 -> George Hunsinger , How to Read Karl Barth 10.19.06 -> Karl Barth , Letters, 1961-1968 11.27.06 -> T.F. Torrance , Trinitarian Faith 1.19.07 -> Eberhard Jüngel , God's Being is in Becoming 2.27.07 -> Eberhard Jüngel , Karl Barth: A Theological Legacy 9.24.07 -> Jürgen Moltmann , Experiences in Theology 9.26.11 -> Rosalind Marshall , John Knox Other Reviews - Barth, Karl, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction - Elwood, Christopher, Calvin for Armchair Theologians - Forde, Gerhard, On Being a Theologian of the Cross - Hunsinger,

Niebuhr on Internal / External History

My next-door neighbor, Justin P. Farrell, is a junior (first year student) here at Princeton Theological Seminary. I have been trying to get him to start a blog ever since I met him, but to no avail. However, he has given me permission to post the short reflection found below. So, meet Justin theo-blogosphere, and welcome to theo-blogging Justin! ============================ In the latter part of Chapter Two of H. Richard Niebuhr's The Meaning of Revelation he distinguishes between two ways of looking at history-- internal and external. The goal of this short paper will be to introduce this ‘paradox,’ and then offer one way that we can relate the external to the internal in a manner that is beneficial to one's Christian life. Niebuhr is concerned with understanding revelation in regards to our lived history (internal), and claims "revelation must be looked for in the events that have happened to us, which live in our memory.” [1] However, he does not

Francis Turretin’s Ecclesiology: 18.3

Francis Turretin’s Ecclesiology: 18.3 Third Question: The Members of the Church – Besides the elect, are the reprobates and infidels (whether secret or open) also true members of the church of Christ? We deny against the Romanists. The fundamental theme to this section, which is hard to miss because Turretin repeats it so often, is that we must consider the church with reference to its external constitution and with reference to its internal constitution. He sets up his discussion by hammering this home: “On the statement of the question we remark…that the church can be regarded either as to its external or its internal state. The external answers to the external call by the word, upon which depends the external form of the church, placed in a profession of faith or an external and sensible communion of the same sacred things. The internal answers to the internal and efficacious call by the word and Spirit, which constitutes its essential and internal form in the communion of faith