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Monthly Archives: August 2008

The Worst Theologian Ever?

We’ve categorized theologians in many ways on this and other blogs. But here’s the new question: Who do you take to have been the worst theologian in the history of the church? Some qualifications: The person can’t be a “heretic” in the sense of one who was in reality just not a Christian in any […]

Rethinking Protology and Eschatology

I’ve commented before on the issue of protology and eschatology, arguing along with Robert Jenson for understanding the future, rather than the past as ontologically primary. The future, rather than the past is determinative for the ultimate shape of our being. However, in line with Jenson’s own thinking, any conception of eternity is some sort […]

Nature, Grace, and Apocalypse Revisited

In previous discussions on a theology of apocalypse, the issue of nature and grace continued to come up as a crucial issue. It seems  that the key question to those espousing an apocalyptic theology relates to what sort of doctrine of creation one would have to uphold to preserve a radically apocalyptic theology of discontinuity […]

Bonhoeffer on the Marks of the New Testament Church

In Sanctorum Communio, Dietrich Bonhoeffer outlines eight “major themes in the New Testament view of the church”: The Christian concept of the ekklesia is the fulfillment of the Hebrew concept of the gathering of the people of God (qahol). The church exists solely through the action of Christ, though in a twofold dialectical manner: on […]

The Purple Crown: A Review

The Purple Crown: The Politics of Martyrdom is the second book in Herald Press’s excellent new series, “Polyglossia: Radical Reformation Theologies.” Chris Huebner’s book, A Precarious Peace opened up the series with a book of supreme quality, erudition, and sophistication. Tripp York’s The Purple Crown proves to be a solid addition to the series and a […]

Theological Self-Branding

Recently my friend, David Horstkoetter posted two lists detailing theological words that he did and did not like. And David Congdon, another friend has followed suit. Both sets of lists are fun to read and I find myself in general agreement with many of the impulses and sentiments behind what words are and aren’t found […]

Martyrdom and Narrative Closure

A further thought on the nature of martyrdom: It seems that what makes martyrdom what it is is determined by the community of memory to which the martyr belongs and who narrate that memory. That a person’s death is a martyrdom is a hermeneutic statement about the whole shape of that person’s life and death. […]

The Ecclesial Supersession of Humanity

In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Sanctorum Communio, he concludes his early chapters on a theology of sociality, the primal state, and the doctrine of sin with the conclusion that humanity as created and fallen is, as such a “collective person” who is “capable of being addressed ethically.” As this collective person, humanity as such is one entity, […]

Martyrological Epistemology

In his superb book, A Precarious Peace, Chris Huebner explores the connection between epistemology and martyrdom: “Martyrdom names and approach to knowledge and a way of life more generally which assumes that the truth of Christ cannot somehow be secured, but is rather a gift received and lived out in vulnerable yet hopeful giving in […]

The Freedom that Can do no Other

Recently Paul Molnar and I debated a bit about the nature of divine freedom. I think Alan Lewis puts the issue perfectly in his amazing book, Between Cross and Resurrection: “God is free, not as one who could do otherwise, but as the one above all who can do no other. Self-bound to one sole […]

Bonhoeffer as Martyr

In his book, Bonhoeffer as Martyr, Craig Slane makes the following argument: “Martyrdom is a circumlocution of sorts for the quite personal and fatal consequences of the ontological collision between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world. As a collision of kingdoms, martyrdom is, and always has been, rife with political overtones. […]

The Apocalyptic Politics of Karl Barth

Paul Chung on Barth again, this time on on the ecclesial-political form of life appropriate to our participation in the apocalyptic history of Jesus: “In respect to the establishment of God’s lordship in Jesus Christ on earth, there is no place for us to remain neutral, nonparticipants, or merely spectators toward others and ourselves. In […]

A Theology of Adjectives

I have recently called for a proper theological account of the use of adjectives in theology. One of the great banes of contemporary theology is the sort of sloganeering which tends to dominate discussions. Adjectives tend to become gaudy baubles which adorn the views advanced by the author, while the views of his oppositional interlocutors […]

Reclaiming Johannine Theology

Paul is all the rage among contemporary theologians these days, and indeed things have pretty much always been this way. In virtually every introduction to the New Testament that I have read, and even books as wonderful as Richard Hays’ The Moral Vision of the New Testament, certain non-Pauline segments of the NT get pretty […]

Christian Politics as Anarchic Liberation

Commenting on Karl Barth’s radical theological politics in the second edition of Karl Barth’s Romans commentary, Paul Chung makes the following argument: “…Christian politics, which is a demonstration, witness and parable of the eschatology of God as totaliter aliter, becomes meaningful in light of God’s gracious action in Jesus Christ. Theological radicalism of eschatological vigor as […]

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