Showing posts from October, 2010

John Flett on Mission, Theology, and Church

This is my final plea (for now): go buy his book . John Flett, The Witness of God: The Trinity, Missio Dei , Karl Barth, and the Nature of Christian Community (Eerdmans, 2010) : 296-7. If the community is Christian only insofar as she is missionary, if the missionary act is the concrete form of divine and human fellowship here and now, then the lack of reference to mission at every level of the teaching ministry of the church is a frightful abrogation of theological responsibility. If it is possible for a ministry candidate to progress through academic training – as much within a seminary as a secular university – without any dogmatic attention given to the purpose for which the Christian community exists, then this indicates the community’s own radical disorder. Jesus Christ’s call for the community to be his witnesses cannot be relegated to some derivative status. Because mission is located in the doctrine of the Trinity, it must again return to theological curricula, must become

Przywara’s Missionary Interest in the Analogy of Being

This is some very interesting analysis from Johnson’s book. A few comments after the quotes. Bold is mine, italics belong to Johnson. Keith L. Johnson, Karl Barth and the Analogia entis, T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology (London; T&T Clark, 2010). By describing human existence in relation to a God who exists both above us and in us, the analogia entis promotes a view of the Catholic Church whose relation to the world follows precisely the same pattern: it is a Church above the world, in the sense that exists in distinction from the world, but it also is a Church in the world, in the sense that its inner life is bound together with its outwardly focused mission to reach out to the world with the truth of the gospel. (47-8) Przywara’s vision for the Roman Catholic Church after the war was missionary in nature . That is, his goal in these early years was to formulate a theological framework that could help the Catholic Church engage the world instead of retreat

Calvin the Man: Philip Schaff on Calvin…with some commentary

Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church: Volume 8, The Swiss Reformation, The Protestant Reformation in German, Italian, and French Switzerland up to the Close of the Sixteenth Century, 1529-1605 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2002 [orig pub. 1892]) : §65. Calvin was twenty-five years younger than Luther and Zwingli, and had the great advantage of building on their foundation. He had less genius, but more talent. He was inferior to them as a man of action, but superior as a thinker and organizer. They cut the stones in the quarries, he polished them in the workshop. They produced the new ideas, he constructed them into a system. His was the work of Apollos rather than of Paul: to water rather than to plant, God giving the increase. (257-8) Saying that Calvin bequeathed to us a "system" is a bit of a stretch, even if his material is remarkably coherent and consistent. Also, I’m not convinced that Calvin had less “genius,” although I think it demonstrably t


I’ve been reminiscing lately about some of the stuff that I have posted here at DET over the years, so I thought that I would do a flashback post to highlight some of it. Besides, new readers can’t be expected to dig through the archives on their own without any assurance of benefit. Of course, there is the brief list of “Favorite Posts” in the right sidebar, but there are some other good ones buried in DET’s past that aren’t on that list. Here are some of them in chronological order (oldest to newest). I hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane, as well as find some helpful or entertaining thoughts. Rules for Reading Week - essential reading for PTS students (I like to think so, at least). Calvin on Theology and Taverns Theology, Philosophy and ‘Christian’ Philosophy: A Typology Barth and Piper on the Relation of God’s Love and Glory Barth’s “Rules for Older People in Relation to Younger” Types of Theology Why I Think…Ben Myers Isn’t Quite Right About TF Torrance What do

KBBC Session 2 Complete

The second weeklong session of this years Karl Barth Blog Conference is now over – at least in terms of new plenary posts and responses. Discussions are still under way, so catch up on your reading and jump into the conversation! Here is a quick outline with links: Welcome and Introduction Outline and Contributor Biographies Barth and the Coen Brothers Barth and Kegan Barth and Pauline Apocalyptic Barth and Hauerwas Barth and Tanner The third and final weeklong session of the 2010 KBBC will take place sometime between AAR and Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for precise dates for that. Use the time until then to go back and re-read the contributions, make perceptive comments, or catch up on your KBBC reading – you can access the reading list through the widget in the right sidebar. Also, remember that we’re going to be making this year’s KBBC into a book with Wipf&Stock. There are some fees associated with this. You can contribute to the cause by donating through Paypal by follo

2010 KBBC: Week 2, Day 5

Christ vs. Mammon: Tanner and Barth on Economics and Theological Method By J. Scott Jackson In what critical and constructive ways might systematic theology address real world problems of the 21st century such as questions of economic justice? This contentious question excites contemporary theologians in schools of thought ranging from liberation theology to radical orthodoxy. Through more than 20 years of published work, Kathryn Tanner has made substantial contributions to clarifying how traditional Christian claims about God, Christ and the world might be fruitfully integrated with progressive proposals for social justice. She has accomplished this by rigorously engaging such diverse resources as analytic philosophy, critical social theory and postmodern cultural theory to mobilize classic theological motifs – centering, especially, upon divine transcendence and the doctrine of the incarnation – in novel and striking ways. Taken as a whole, this work amounts to a thorough reconstr

2010 KBBC: Week 2, Day 4

Barth and Hauerwas in Con-verse By Halden Doerge The topic with which I am concerned is what it might mean to bring Karl Barth into conversation with Stanley Hauerwas. As such I will try to avoid simply contrasting the two figures, or lodging a critique of one’s thought based on the other’s. Rather what is vital here is to investigate what it might mean to place these two figures in conversation with one another, and most specifically, as the theme of this year’s conference is “Karl Barth in Conversation,” my central concern will be with determining how we ought to read and appropriate the theology of Karl Barth in light of the work of Stanley Hauerwas. In short, my concern is what impact or opportunities Hauerwas makes for our reception of Barth. Toward this end I will pursue two lines of inquiry. First, I will examine Hauerwas’s own articulation of his theological relation to Barth, showing how Hauerwas seeks to “place” himself and Barth in relation to one another theologically.

2010 KBBC: Week 2, Day 3

Karl Barth in Conversation with Pauline Apocalypticism By Shannon Nicole Smythe At first blush, it might appear that putting Paul’s apocalyptic theology in conversation with the work of systematic theologian Karl Barth would be a bit of a stretch—something cooked up to make Paul into a systematic theologian, or perhaps to make Barth Scripture’s version of the “Everyman.” What could there possibly be to discuss between these two seemingly odd conversation partners? According to New Testament scholar, Douglas Harink: plenty. Harink notes that Barth’s work in the second edition of his Römerbrief has a “powerful apocalyptic tone and message.” Furthermore, between Barth’s work in the second edition of his Romans commentary and that of Church Dogmatics IV/1, Harink finds that Barth actually anticipated the “discoveries” of recent Pauline scholarship regarding a more “genuine Pauline theology of justification,” a theology which is quite antithetical to the “usual Protestant story of