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Showing posts from September, 2011

Bultmann on What Schleiermacher Got Right and Wrong

It’s turning into something of a “theological descendants of Schleiermacher commenting on his thought” week here at DET. I had a quote on him from Barth on Wednesday, and today it’s Bultmann.

And yes, I’m reading Bultmann. Blame David.

Rudolf Bultmann, What Is Theology, Fortress Texts in Modern Theology (Roy A. Harrisville, trans.; Eberhard Jüngel and Klaus W. Müller, eds.; Minneapolis, MN; Fortress Press, 1997): 42.Schleiermacher’s analysis of the feeling of absolute dependence is not simply false. He does, in fact, see that God is not “given” - neither a given of that type of world toward which I know I am so dependent that I oppose it in the feeling of freedom, nor a given within the feeling of freedom, in regard to which I may speak of the “deus in nobis”…

Schleiermacher sees that we can only speak of God when we speak of our existence, and that this is given us only in the question, that is, is not really given. Of course, he does not see that we come no further than the question

Barth on Schleiermacher (with brief thoughts on American Evangelicalism)

Karl Barth, The Theology of Schleiermacher: Lecture’s at Göttingen, Winter Semester of 1923/24 (Dietrich Ritschl, ed.; Geoffrey W. Bromiley, trans.; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982): xv.Theologically the “genius” of the major part of the church is that of Schleiermacher. All the so-to-speak official impulses and movements of the centuries since the Reformation find a center of unity in him: orthodoxy, pietism, the Enlightenment. All the official tendencies of the Christian present emanate from him like rays: church life, experiential piety, historicism, psychologism, and ethicism. We need not ask how far he constituted this center personally and directly or simply as a proponent of the romantic and idealistic movement of his age – how far, then, the threads that link the past and the future also run back beyond him. Suffice it to say that almost all of them run by way of him, so that with a good conscience we can call him a type of what was determina…

What Am I Reading? Rosalind Marshall on John Knox

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Rosalind K. Marshall, John Knox (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2000).

My teaching duties in the upcoming Spring semester will involve work on the Scots Confession, and so I’ve been reading up on Knox and the Scottish Reformation in order to get the necessary background information and big-picture perspective. There aren’t a lot of books out there to give one that information, or at least not many academic books (I’ll likely discuss an exception to this judgment in a later ‘What Am I Reading?’ post…), and Marshall’s book certainly does NOT fill this lacunae. Academic it is not. However, Marshall is an engaging writer and the book is well researched, making it very suitable for orienting oneself to the subject matter as well as being accessible to your average educated adult reader. For academics, this means it makes for a quick and enjoyable read. One might even keep it on one’s nightstand for a bit of light reading before bed.

One of Marshall’s strengths is her ability to see Knox the man in hi…

My Most Recent Publication

I have a review of Amy Marga's book, Karl Barth’s Dialogue with Catholicism in Göttingen and Münster: Its Significance for His Doctrine of God, that is now up on the Center for Barth Studies website. Surf on over and check it out!

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend…

…or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere.

It’s a week early for this post on the normal rotation, but I came across some important and worthwhile stuff that I wanted to spread the word about.

First off, it is time to begin announcing that Bruce McCormack will be delivering the 2011 Kantzer Lectures in Revealed Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in a week or so. Thanks to Jason Goroncy, from whom I shamelessly stole the below:Lecture One: Tuesday, September 27 | 7:00-8:30 pm
“The Erosion of Protestant Commitments in the Evangelical Movement: On the
Importance of the Doctrine of God in Evangelical Theology Today”


Lecture Two: Wednesday, September 28 | 2:00-3:30 pm
“From the One God to the Trinity: The Creation of Christian Theism”

Lecture Three: Wednesday, September 28 | 4:00-5:30 pm
“The Great Reversal: From the Economy of God to Triunity in Modern Theology”

Lecture Four: Thursday, September 29 | 4:00-5:30 pm
“The God o…

Ellen Charry’s “God and the Art of Happiness” – Part 2 recap

Well, it happened again. As with Part 1, I was planning to write my own recap of Part 2…until I discovered that Charry has already done it better than I could. So, I’m just going to quote her again. More comments to follow.

Ellen Charry, God and the Art of Happiness, 250:Across epochs, locations, languages, circumstances, cultures, and discourses, texts in both Testaments of Scripture agree that the maker of heaven and earth seeks creation’s flourishing. All the texts we have considered argue that reverent devotion to the creator and redeemer of the world is the happy life, for it crafts one into an instrument of divine wisdom, love, and goodness.

The various patterns of life that Scripture intends to draw the reader into drive toward one goal: organizing ourselves around life in God that we may enjoy ourselves as we are buoyed by the love, beauty, goodness, and wisdom of God, which hoist us aloft. That the visions they paint frame the issue differently is a great strength rather than…

Wisdom from Master Kong

As those who follow this blog know, I'm currently in my first semester as an assistant professor of religion at Lindenwood University. Part of my consistent teaching load is a course introducing students to the world's major religions. It has been a lot of fun getting into these religions and their primary texts and, as an aside, my Barthianism makes it especially easy to find this stuff interesting and useful while also non-threatening.

In any case, I came across a passage from Master Kong (Confucius) in the Analects this morning and it struck a chord with me. I would go so far to say that it encapsulates the modus operandi of this blog at least, and also my own approach to the theological task - at least as that approach takes shape in the present stage of my career. So, here it is:"I once did not eat all day and did not sleep all night in order to think, but there was no benefit. It would have been better to study" (15.31).
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Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend…

…or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere.

This should have been posted on Saturday, but I’m lucky that I was able to bang it out at all. So, if there is anyone out there who would possibly care about this delay: deal with it. Of course, I’m talking mostly to myself…

Anyway, here is a very brief list of links. I’ve been doing my best to stay on top of goings on in the theoblogosphere, but I don’t always have time to put everything interesting in the list. Obviously, everyone needs to check out my post supplying a translation from Eberhard Busch’s recently published journal of his time as Karl Barth’s research assistant. That goes without saying. So, what else should you read?

“Impossible Possibilities: On Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible - A thought-provoking book review, and review of a review, from one whom I recently described in correspondence (to a third party) as “my theologically conjoined twin.”“Edinburgh Dogma…

Karl Barth on Eberhard Jüngel’s “God’s Being Is In Becoming” - from a new book by Eberhard Busch

And now for a DET exclusive...

As some of you may already be aware, Eberhard Busch has recently published an incredible new resource for Barth studies, namely, a compendium of his notes from his time as Karl Barth’s assistant (Meine Zeit mit Karl Barth). Those who know the Barth studies landscape don’t need to be told how significant this is; to those of you who don’t know the landscape so well, suffice it to say that this volume will be of great interest.

As a case in point, I present the below. Busch’s publishers have made a tract of his text available as a bit of a sample, and my friend and colleague from Princeton Seminary, Matt Bruce (also, coincidently, a friend of the blog and the Karl Barth Blog Conference), passed along those pages and a rough-and-ready translation of a couple interesting paragraphs. These paragraphs recount a discussion with Barth concerning Eberhard Jüngel’s then recently published, God’s Being Is In Becoming. Barth provides an appraisal (positive, by the …