Christian Faith in a Post-Modern World, including world mission and our obligations as Christians to the World
I have a full day evidentiary hearing later this week and then will enjoy an extended weekend in an undisclosed coool location. I doubt that I will be able to read blogs, much less post on this one in the next week.
There is a very interesting forum on Liberation Theology on the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog. Participants include N.T. Wright, but the featured panelist is George Weigel, Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center. Here are some highlights from his essay: There were, in fact, multiple theologies of liberation, with different themes and different stresses; lumping them together as “liberation theology” is, in some sense, a disservice to the originality of the various theologians of liberation.
Still, there were common threads running through the theologies of liberation and two were especially prominent: a commitment to “Marxist analysis” as the best tool for understanding the causes of Third World poverty, and a vision of the Christian community in which the Church’s primary task was political action (including, in some cases, violent political action) as the vanguard of the future egalitarian society. . . .The late John Paul II could hardly be acc…
Luke Timothy Johnson, the Robert R. Woodruff Professor of New Testament at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, has a very thoughtful essay on the current disputes about GLBT relationships. It is a long essay that is well worth a read. (There is a response by Eve Tushnet). Here are highlights:
The task demands intellectual honesty. I have little patience with efforts to make Scripture say something other than what it says, through appeals to linguistic or cultural subtleties. The exegetical situation is straightforward: we know what the text says. But what are we to do with what the text says? We must state our grounds for standing in tension with the clear commands of Scripture, and include in those grounds some basis in Scripture itself. To avoid this task is to put ourselves in the very position that others insist we already occupy-that of liberal despisers of the tradition and of the church’s sacred writings, people who have no care for the shared symbols that define u…
I ran across a wonderful blog on theology, Rain and Rhinoceros, by Ry Siggelkow, an M.A. student in theology at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota. One of his most interesting recent posts is comparing the differing views of Rudolf Bultmann and N.T. Wright on whether historical critical methods have any bearing on the historical truth of the resurrection.
Bultmann thought that the resurrection was an eschatological event beyond the realm of historical study:
One of the most important and controversial responses to the challenge of modern biblical criticism was Rudolf Bultmann’s demythologizing project. Bultmann’s work takes for granted that modern biblical scholarship and modern science have effectively dismantled the biblical worldview. For modern man, according to Bultmann, belief in a three-level universe, demons, angels, the miraculous, and resurrected bodies, is akin to belief in a flat earth, leprechauns, and unicorns. …