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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Some theological odds and ends

I know I haven't posted much recently - busy. And likely to be so to the end of March, not that I'm saying I won't post. Just don't hold your breath.

But do go check out Kim Fabricius' 10 Theses on the Holy Spirit at Faith & Theology; especially note numbers 6 and 10. (Hat tip to Alistair.) Good stuff from an estimable theological thinker.

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Also from Alistair, a quotation from Rowan Williams:
Scripture and tradition require to be read in a way that brings out their
strangeness, their non-obvious and non-contemporary qualities, in order that
they may be read both freshly and truthfully from one generation to another.
They need to be made more difficult before we can accurately grasp their
simplicities…. And this ‘making difficult’, this confession that what the gospel
says in Scripture and tradition does not instantly and effortlessly make sense,
is perhaps one of the most fundamental tasks for theology.

(Alistair himself got it from Faith & Theology, so it's really the whole circle of life thing...or something.)

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Also, there is a lot good out there on the whole "Jesus and family tomb" questions. You'll find alot of it at Mark Goodacre's weblog, which will point you towards other great resources, too.

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I had an experience a little while ago of finally reading Colin Gunton and thinking to myself 'why did no one tell me about this guy?! This is great!' Of course, that wasn't completely true. Others had told me, or held forth on his worth - not least Andy Goodliff - and I was simply heedless. And although I found much great, I also think he is limited in some unfortunate ways. I once said to Andy that I would say how I think he is, but this is not that post. I've had a very similar experience recently. But let me back up.

I root for the Chicago Cubs, and for England in international test cricket - I know all about self-loathing. But Calvin takes it to new depths. I have been reading Calvin's Institutes over Lent, along with some friends. There are hints and glimmers of real insight and brilliance. There is also some really wretchedly awful bits. And a lot of banal truth in-between. But he's not who I've 'discovered'.

As a respite from Calvin, to some degree, I have been reading Jurgen Moltmann, namely his Trinity and the Kingdom of God. Before this, I had read extracts from The Crucified God, and on that basis, well, let's just say I wasn't a fan. But Trinity and the Kingdom has completely changed my outlook on him. Why didn't anyone tell me about him before?

That's not to say I am now somehow a 'Moltmannian'. As with Gunton, I find him limited in ways. But he is intensely hopeful, and makes some very interesting moves. Much, much better than Calvin: even if, like Gunton, he works broadly within he same tradition.

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