Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thinking Blogger Awards

krister of theoblogia has awarded me a "Thinking blogger Award". Read his nice motivation here.

The honour involves naming a few other thinking bloggers. Easy! In no particular order:
  • Elizaphanian - Rev. Sam has not written that much lately (like me!) but if one goes a bit further back one will find insightful post on films, theology and Peak Oil. Lots of post on Peak Oil. He also has a deeply honest attitude to things that moves me deeply.
  • revolt in the desert - It's a very special blog and I have to admit that I read a lot less at it than I look, because Lawrence usually illustrates his posts with beautiful images, mostly paintings, that usually manages to kick me out of my usual lines of thought. Also, lots of good thoughts on Islam.
  • Sandalstraps' Sanctuary - Although Chris apparently plays Bela Fleck to his poor two-year old son, his blog is filled with thoughtful posts on theology, religion and politics.
  • On Journeying with those in Exile - Dan's blog is informed by his experience of life among the home-less, the drug addicts and the prostitutes on the streets of Vancouver. It makes his theology all the more relevant.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Worst theological inventions!

Ben is holding a vote on the "Worst theological invention" and is now accepting nominations.

I nominated (in no particular order)
  • Double predestination
  • Sola Scriptura
  • Male-only priesthood
  • cuius regio, euis religio
  • Just war
Double predestination not only turns God into a demon, but it also, according to Max Weber is responisble for capitalism. That's hard to top.

Sola Scriptura is just silly, there where Christianity long before the NT existed. I like to see the new testament and all subsequent theology as a commentary to the Eucharist.

Male-only priesthood, a case of the Church mirroring earth rather than heaven. Mary Magdalene was the first apostle, and Pete was the first man who didn't get it.

Cuius Regio, eius Religio is together with Constantinism (nominated by Halden) the foundation of the State Church. It is the notion that the ruler decides the faith of the citizens. A bit hard to swallow that one, still, very popular during the reformation. It was always bad, today it still keeps the post-state churches of Northern Europe to be, you know, Church.

Finally, Just war, a natural consequence of the state church, where the church has to be "reasonable" in the eyes of the rulers. Without it, no Crusades, no 30-year war etcetera. For crying out loud, we believe in a God who let himself be killed. Is there anything less warlike than that?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tracy's Imagination

I've been reading David Tracy's book The Analogical Imagination lately. It came in on a shared 14th place on my list of recent theological works, the oldest work to do so, just making the time frame allowed (it was published in 1981).

The book is a kind of overview of the (then) present state of systematic theology, and as such a very good one. Tracy is balanced, he has a very wide knowledge of different kinds of theology, and he presents the works he cites fairly.

As a person deeply influenced by Tillich, it is nice to read Tracy's appreciation of Tillich which is very high. At least back in -81 Tillich's influence was still strong apparently. Whatever happened then?

I like Tracy's discussion on the public and publicness of theology. Theology has three audiences: the church, academia and society, and it need to be public in all areas. This is an insight that seems to be lost on many writers today, that write for the church, uses the academia and neglects the rest of society completely.

So, Tracy's book is good to read, it might broaden your knowledge in many areas. That said, it seems to me that Tracy's own ideas are not really as important as he seems to think. His talk of classics, religious and otherwise may have some pedagogical value, but beyond that I am unsure... I don't really know what I'm supposed to do with it. He also has a language that is a bit irritation at times. I order to try to communicate the significance of the gospel, he uses words like danger and risk a lot, and it doesn't really work, it just strikes you as odd.

This criticism apart, I tend to agree a lot with Tracy's views of theology and how it should be done. I feel much more at home in this kind of theology than, for example more recent kinds of "post-modern" theology. Does that make me old-fashioned or conservative. Or has theology lost its way? At the moment I'm leaning towards the second alternative.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Internet is for Making Lists

So there is this unspun thing over at amazon. Now we can vote on the top Theology Blogs.

Is this a good thing? Is popular always the best and most in need of recognition. Of course not, but it is still fun.

Yes I put my blog in the top spot. You can do, too.

Of course, You can also make your own list. I did one about theologians and one about Systematic Theologies. Join in! (It's totally silly of course, how do you rank things like this? But I listed the once I found important and that I like...)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


the Muse B-side I stole the name for my blog from, "God of a Shrinking Universe", is used in the trailer of the new zombie-flick 28 weeks later... Wonder what kind of impact that will have on my google hits.

Didn't like the first one very much. But its a good song.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

No Powerpoint

We all knew this, of course, but now it is proven, that PowerPoint is worthless as a pedagogical tool. (HT: Byron).

I am Origen

This, of course, comes as a surprise to no one.

You’re Origen!

You do nothing by half-measures. If you’re going to read the Bible, you want to read it in the original languages. If you’re going to teach, you’re going to reach as many souls as possible, through a proliferation of lectures and books. If you’re a guy and you’re going to fight for purity … well, you’d better hide the kitchen shears.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!