Category Prolegomena

Making a Distinction; an Existential Theologian vis-à-vis Sapiential Theologian: Finding the Dialectical in the Singular Person, Jesus Christ

David Congdon offers an insightful quote on the distinction between being an existential theologian versus a sapiential one; for his purposes he is using this distinction to help draw some lines between Karl Barth and Rudolf Bultmann. Whoever the characters are, whether Luther/Aquinas (which is the original pairing), Barth/Bultmann et al. I think the distinction […]

A Clarification on How I Approach Protestant Reformed Theology that Developed in the 16th and 17th Centuries and Beyond

Just as a clarification to the last post: I am not saying that I see no value in the Protestant Reformed theology that developed in the 16th and 17th centuries; God forbid it! Without this period of development, theologically, we really wouldn’t have the categories and theological grammar that we deploy today. Even so, given […]

Language About God’s Life: How Language Ought to Be Transformed By God’s Self-Revelation in Theological Discourse

As Trinitarians Christians often, and rightly, refer to the inner reality of God’s singular life as his ousia or ‘being.’ The fear might be that Christians might be imposing Hellenistic (i.e. classical Greek philosophical) categories onto God thus morphing him into an tertium quid, or even worse something completely alien to who he actually is. […]

Historical Theology as Fundamental for the Theologian’s Task

Something that drastically changed my theological development and life was and is historical theology; I first engaged with it in my seminary Reformation and Patristic theology classes. For the first time (at that point), pieces really began to fall into place for me (including my undergrad Bible College experience which didn’t get into, so much, […]

Reformed Theology: Affective Theology and Evangelical Calvinism, Highlighting their Reality and Charting New Ways

In the last post we spoke of a development in Reformed theology known as Affective Theology. I was first introduced to this thread of Reformed theology in seminary by my professor (who also became a mentor of mine as I served as his TA for a couple of years, and then beyond my graduate studies […]

There is No Secret Eternal Will of God, There is Only Jesus

When you read Karl Barth what you get is the usual Reformed lexicon, but with a different theological grammar defining it. In other words you will get words like ‘election’ ‘reprobation’ ‘covenant’ ‘extra Calvinisticum’ and a host of other Reformedisms. In this Reformed mode the most prominent, even dominant Reformed concept that Barth recalibrates through […]

Living Under Pressure

Pressure. Pressure is an important concept when it comes to theology and thinking about God. I was out in the rail yard building trains today, and as I had a moment or two to reflect I thought about the guys I was working with; I thought about all of the people driving by me on […]

‘Schooled in the faith of Christ’: Thomas Torrance Responds to Rachel Held Evans’ “Questioning” Approach

As you all know I had an interesting engagement with Rachel Held Evans this last week here at the blog; particularly because I chose to write too quickly, and thus not respectfully of RHE. In the aftermath of that I have continued to think about ways to engage with RHE, and her post on Abraham […]

Knowing God in an Evangelistic Context: “Getting Beyond Barth”

Ha, tricked you! Actually this post is directly dealing with the ‘material Barth,’ he is not anything like the ‘material girl’. The ‘material Barth’ goes beyond the politicking that has unfortunately marginalized Barth for many; the material Barth (and what I mean by this frame) engages directly with what Barth has communicated materially and theologically. […]

What is Natural Theology? and Why It Should be Abhorred.

Often I reference Natural Theology on my forum/blog, but I do not often give an explanation for what it is in a basic sense. So with this post I hope to quickly remedy that by providing a basic definition of what natural theology entails, and who was one of its most famous and early proponents. […]