Showing posts from January, 2010

2010 Karl Barth Blog Conference: This Just In!!!

Yes, the 4th installation of the Karl Barth Blog Conference is in its planning stages. I am pleased to announce that I am no longer shouldering the burden of putting on this conference alone, as my good friend and colleague David Congdon ( Fire and Rose ) is helping me out. And boy, are we planning a great blog conference!!! I don’t want to reveal too many details yet, but, here is what I can tell you: The conference theme is “Karl Barth in Conversation with…” where the blank is filled in with another notable theological or philosophical thinker. We already have papers lined up to put Barth in conversation with Bultmann, Torrance, Tanner, Jenson, Gadamer, Coakley, Bonhoeffer, Zizek, and Schleiermacher! The conference will be posted in the Fall of this year. There is now a Barth Blog Conference page on Facebook, so check it out . Updates will be posted there as well. Its not too late to get involved. If you want to propose a plenary post and put Barth in conversation wit

Gerrish on Calvin on Faith as Knowledge

I can’t say that I’ve read all that Brian Gerrish has ever written, but I have spent some time with his Grace and Gratitude , which provides a reading of Calvin’s theology as a whole and argues that it is a deeply eucharistic theology, in both the broader and narrower senses of that term. While I’m not 100% sold, I do find him to be rather insightful on a number of points. What he has to say about faith as knowledge in the Reformed tradition is one of the many gems hidden in this volume, and I thought it worthy of note here: B.A. Gerrish, Grace and Gratitude: The Eucharistic Theology of John Calvin (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2002):63-4. “Calvin’s well-known definition of faith appears in book three, chapter two, of his 1559 Institutes : ‘Now we can agree on the right definition of faith if we say that it is firm and certain knowledge of the divine good will ( benevolentiae ) toward us, based on the truth of the free promise in Christ, and both revealed to our minds and

Interesting Stats on Marriage in the 1st Century

I don’t have a point to make with all this – I simply found it interesting. Maybe you will too. Lynn H. Cohick, Women in the World of the Earliest Christians: Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009): 119. “Based on a survey of inscriptional evidence, men married for the first time in their mid to late twenties. Women entered marriage for the first time by their late teens or early twenties. Using statistics from modern, preindustrial communities to estimate demographics in the ancient world, we find that the average live expectancy was twenty-five years. If a woman married at age twenty, and her husband was thirty years old, then the likelihood that her father was alive at her wedding was approximately fifty percent. I will say, however, that this makes me feel old…

TF Torrance - Pertinent to the Hour

"The church of the risen Lord has no right to be a prophet of gloom or despair , for this world has been redeemed and sanctified by Christ and he will not let it go . The corruptible clay of our poor earth has been taken up in Jesus, is consecrated through his sacrifice and resurrection, and he will not allow it to sink back into corruption. Hence the whole creation groans and travails waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, looking forward with eager expectation to the hour of final liberation and renewal in the advent of its risen saviour." Thomas F. Torrance, Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ (Robert T. walker, ed.; Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic and Paternoster, 2009): 263, emphasis added.

Frei on Barth and Barthians

Hans Frei, Types of Christian Theology (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992): 157. “Readers of Barth’s Church Dogmatics usually come up with the same experience: Whether one agrees with Barth or not, and despite the endless repetition of themes and the stylistic heaviness, much increased by the translation, which loses the almost colloquial vigor of the German original, there is an increasingly compelling, engrossing quality to the material. And it is much more accessible than much Modern theology: Even the technical terms don’t lose sight of ordinary language, and Barth possesses astonishing descriptive powers. But then, as one tries to restate it afterwards the material dies on one’s hands. It can be done, but there is nothing as wooden to read as one’s own or others’ restatements of Barth’s terms, his technical themes and their development. It is as though he had preempted that particular language and its deployment. For that reason, reading ‘Barthians,’ unlike Barth h