Good one Jason! Key phrase . . . “more than”
I like the idea of encouraging Christians to connect their belief to public life, but wonder why it reduces christianity to beliefs, and not practices. To be a christian in public, is more than stating your private beliefs in public.
I’m downloading the videos now! Read some of Jenson’s writings, but haven’t heard him in person yet. I might be moving into a phase of more “cheem” theological reflective posts in days to come. We’ll see.
I like the alternate title. I bought this book a while ago. Will read it later. I’ve had some interesting conversations on both Braaten and Jenson (above) with people who know them better than me.
We don’t have to run away from the tensions (like in real life), we need to face them head on, without fear. God is bigger than our questions.
If the history of philosophy, science and theology have taught us anything it is this: truth is a multifaceted complex beast, not easily domesticated, tamed or boxed. I once heard a profound argument in a Richard Hays lecture. He was quoting Rowan Williams who was himself quoting novelist Anita Mason: ‘There is a kind of truth which, when it is said, becomes untrue’. Even our language, yes even the language of the bible, is sometimes not able to say the full truth, for to say it would be to domesticate it, and because we are in the business of speaking about God, to domesticate such truth is thus to refute it.
That said, biblical propositions are important – arguably so is ‘propositional revelation’, though it remains a disputed concept – and the bible is full of them. However, while we may agree on certain propositions being true, what matters is what they mean. And that is when things get more complicated!
Thanks for the prayer . . .
"Father, there is so much that we do not understand, so much that confuses us in the Bible. We surely only know in part. So we pray for wisdom, for a closer walk with you, for deeper maturity in our faith, that we would be passionate lovers of truth. Protect, strengthen and develop our faith, that it may bear fruit in our lives, that we truly play our part in the evangelisation of the nations and the transformation of society, remembering always that it is you who carries us; you are our foundation, not we ourselves, not our understanding of biblical tensions nor the strength of our often failing faith. We give you glory for hearing our prayer for the sake of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
John Amos Comenius is my new hero from Church History!! I’ve always felt Pietism had some treasures for us today. I think critics will need to reconsider the “slippery slope” argument after this.
Now, fundamentalist watchdogs of today who would look back at that key moment when the Unity decided not to go in a fundamentalist direction would doubtless trot out a “slippery slope” argument: “Any denomination that went in this liberal, culture-engaging direction could not last as an evangelical, pietist denomination. It would become liberal in theology and disappear from history as an effective gospel witness.”
So it’s worth asking: What did happen to the Unity of the Brethren?