Showing posts from August, 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 philosophic

Read Barth and Get Over Yourself

Like many of you, dear readers, I grew up within a strand of North American evangelicalism which, at its best, fosters a deep piety and a robust affirmation of personal religious experience.   Jesus vertreibt die Händler aus dem Tempel by Giovanni Paolo Pannini via Wikimedia Commons (PD-US) I remain profoundly grateful for this formation. Still, on the down side, this faith tradition can slip into some worrisome solipsistic tendencies. Fortunately, these proclivities are often transcended in real communities, in great acts of solidarity and sacrifice. (For example, a friend who has spent time recently volunteering to help flood victims in the Baton Rouge area attests to the herculean disaster relief efforts led by Southern Baptists there). Nonetheless, individualist ideologies suffuse the air we breathe, not only as evangelical or liberal Christians but as North Americans in general, in this decadent age of late-modern consumerist society. Of course, rants about religious indiv

A Little Help from Bonhoeffer on Prayer

Over the past few weeks, I have been reading through the fourteenth volume of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works series in English ( DBWE ). It is a trove of historical and theological information that takes the reader behind the scenes of Bonhoeffer’s Discipleship , as well as Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible . The volume is entitled, “Theological Education at Finkenwalde: 1935-1937,” and includes documents from when Bonhoeffer led the Confessing Church’s seminary in the town of Finkenwalde. The seminary operated for only a few years before the Nazis closed it down in September of 1937. At the seminary, during its third and fourth sessions (out of five) Bonhoeffer offered lectures on confirmation instruction, which Bonhoeffer scholars call his “second attempt at a catechism” (see footnote 407). Photo by Andreas Steinhoff, via Wikimedia Commons When preparing my sermon for this past Sunday, I found some help from Bonhoeffer’s “catechism." The lectionary readings included

Jürgen Moltmann on lecturing at the beginning of his career

I’ve always been drawn to biography. It combines my interest in and fascination by history on the one hand with my interest in ideas on the other. To top it off, it can give one a new perspective on one’s own struggles and location in one’s own story, and this perspective can be encouraging (it can also be depressing, but we’ll leave that to one side). And autobiography is a particularly enjoyable species of biography. Perhaps the most interesting knowledge that I have gleaned thus far from Moltmann's autobiography was that Ernst Wolf was seriously hardcore: “He smoked black cigars, drank strong coffee in the evenings, and often worked right through the night” ( Broad Place , 49)! By Maeterlinck (Own work) [ CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons But what I really want to highlight today are some of Moltmann’s discussions of his earliest teaching at the seminary in Wuppertal. To begin, here is how he describes lecture preparation: For me, work on the Sunday sermon now gave wa

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend… …or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere. Well, it has been well over a month since the last link post and DET has been on extended summer hiatus since then. We did break hiatus twice. The first time was to bring you a timely sermon from contributing author Henry Coates. It is well worth your time if you haven’t read it yet: "Christians are people who say, 'Black lives matter'": A sermon on Jonah 1 . The second time we broke hiatus was to announce my participation in a webinar with the folks at Homebrewed Christianity : Why Go Barthian? Upcoming Webinar with Travis McMaken and Tripp Fuller . I had a lot of fun doing it, and you can watch the video on Youtube (and I’ve embedded it below). The interview will also go out on the Homebrewed Christianity podcast eventually. Speaking of Youtube, I now have a channel ! There isn’t much up there yet: a brief video tribute I did to Heiko Oberman , and a playli

Why Go Barthian? Upcoming Webinar with Travis McMaken and Tripp Fuller

We interrupt this DET hiatus to bring you some breaking news: I - intrepid, fearless, and usually not too excessively misanthropic and full of himself editor of DET - will be going toe-to-toe with Tripp Fuller in an upcoming webinar on why you - yes, you! - should consider going "Barthian." The accompanying image has all the vital stats, and you can sign up for FREE to participate in the webinar , get an e-mail about it, etc. It would be great if we had a good contingent of DET readers in attendance and, for those of you who can make it, I'll "see" you in there! UPDATE I had a lot of fun doing the webinar, and it's now up on Youtube. Check it out! ================================== Follow @WTravisMcMaken Subscribe to Die Evangelischen Theologen