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The Triune God: An Essay in Postliberal Theology By William C

the fact that the spirit is responsible for convincing anyone of the truth of christ brings a “cheerful freedom” to christian service (normally calvinists appended that freedom to the doctrine of god’s sovereign election, but this methodist reviewer isn’t complaining). “where you get, if you think you have gotten to god by your own efforts, is always an idol” (43). that this book should evoke that response of worship to this god is a mark of the praise it deserves. he judges that the biggest problem for lindbeck-style theology is its failure to explain how the passive, receptive aspects of religion relate to religions active, reconstructive aspects. mostly younger group of postliberals has taken up these criticisms.[2] all human speech about god is, at best, an analogy, metaphor, or simile. but we cannot comprehend the way the word “wise” applies to god, and certainly cannot extrapolate from our experience of wiseness to the wisdom god is. placher explains: "the significatum of our claims about god [in this case, that god is indeed good] corresponds to what is the case about god, but the modus significandi [any understanding we may have about what this claim means] doesnt. the emergence of a multiculturalist, strongly feminist "barthian" trend in theology is a most welcome development in a field that has known more than its share of stodgy antifeminists. and this is as it should be, as placher shows with an unforgettable quote from kierkegaard: “if god appeared as a man six yards tall, or as ‘a very rare and tremendously large green bird, with a red beak, .

Postliberal theology - Wikipedia

hauerwas observes that while placher remains "determinedly reformed" in his approach to theology, "some of us are definitely becoming more catholic in our thinking. metaphysical claims are out, as are barths claims for theology as the explication of revelation. but that that god took flesh and died and rose for us, “that i did not read there,” augustine says. here placher turns to the sort of dogmatic topics most often treated in trinitarian theology: is augustine’s psychological analogy for the trinity (in which we image god as a single mind that knows and loves itself) or the eastern church’s social analogy (in which god is a community of persons) more correct? postliberal theologians would do well not to give up this barthian principle. he opens the book with an insistence that to link a “radical view of god’s transcendence” with a narrative christology is “possible only through a strong doctrine of the holy spirit” (ix). postliberals, such as lindbeck, are especially interested in pursuing theological dialogues with evangelicals. god grants us true beliefs in order to give us a share in gods life. truth question looms large in postliberal theology, and especially among the critics, who maintain that postliberal theology is deficient as a way of rendering christian truth claims. the thomist postliberals and the postmodernist postliberals will relinquish too much if they disparage the credibility of doing theology in barths style as exegesis of gods free, self-authenticating, spirit-illuminated word.

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    there is nothing else about god (or more strongly, there is no god) but the one we see in jesus by the spirit. we say god is wise, because scripture directs us to do so. yet, the bible is pretty clear that there is only one god. for the god we deal with in christ cannot be understood, only adored. it’s a paradox in confessions : he could learn from secular philosophy everything there is to know about god. serene jones, david kamitsuka (oberlin college), ian mcfarland (aberdeen), gene rogers (university of virginia) and british theologians rowan williams and david ford share affinities with this "progressive" form of postliberalism. pietists of various sorts have attempted to fill the gap between human comprehension and the divine nature with human “experience,” placing themselves squarely in the middle of theology precisely where god should be. of the complexity in charting the theological world comes from the fact that lindbecks influential account of liberal theology as "experiential-expressivist" describes only a small part of actually existing theological liberalism.” aquinas offers five ways of thinking about god which contradict one another, about which he shows little enthusiasm (his own preferred “way” is christ)." she views her work as "a revised postliberalism" that addresses many of the worries about its conservative methodological tendencies -- for example, tendencies to insulate a christian perspective from external criticism, and to ignore serious diversity, contest and change within christianity.
  • The Future of Postliberal Theology

    it is necessary, then, to define the term social trinity in light of the larger theological conversation of the triune god."one of the hardest things about trying to follow karl barth is his apparent lack of interest in the liberal question of how theology can meet the challenges of modernity: historical criticism, the collapse of the house of authority, the apparent disjunction between scientific and theological thinking, etc. green argues that the truth question is unavoidable for theology precisely because god encounters us in the imagination. "the reading of postliberal theology as antirealist can admittedly appeal to occasional unfortunate passages, but it seems to me a clear misreading of the texts taken as a whole," he contends. the result of this rereading and theological change of course is this gem of a book, which never disparages venerable christian doctrines like divine immutability, as placher was inclined to do with previous books like the domestication of transcendence , and makes clear how little is clear when we speak of god. for the book’s primary insistence is that trinitarian theology does not claim to comprehend god when it speaks of him simple, infinite, eternal, or even one-and-three. they have to speak the gospel in ways that secularized modern people can hear: "thats what led me to imagination in the first place, and i still believe that one can be true to the task of theology without compromising the essentials as did theological liberalism. though it is not quite true that gustafson and other liberals "never enter into argument against barth," there is a pronounced tendency in liberal theology to dismiss barths idea of truth as the self-authenticating word of god. "i believe that valid christian responses to these liberal questions are implicit in barths theology, but they are couched in terms that most moderns simply cannot or will not hear. is postliberalism indeed a distinct alternative to theological liberalism and conservatism?
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  • God Cannot Be Understood, Only Adored | Jason Byassee | First

    second strand of postliberal theologians seek to recover a premodern understanding of truth in order to secure the claims of christian faith. option for postliberal thinkers is to adhere to the idioms, or at least the general approach, of frei and lindbeck. in his influential essay "aquinas as postliberal theologian," he argues that the realism of aquinas complements lindbeck. argument brings postliberal theology closer to the idioms of thomist metaphysics than anything that hans frei could have imagined. this idea, however, is (a) not congruent with my pedagogy,[1] and (b) contrary to the nature of the triune god. in many instances, the development of postliberal theology is following barths own theological trajectory.: an invitation to the study of god (downers grove, il: intervarsity press, 1996). augustine seems to gather a good bit more from the “books of the platonists”: that god is indeed simple, infinite, eternal, one, and so on. he wrote appreciative statements about schleiermacher, he allowed that schleiermacher might be interpreted as a theologian of the holy spirit, he emphasized the humanity of god in contrast to the wholly other, he called human beings "covenant-partners of god," and he looked for "parables" of grace and truth in non-christian religions and ideologies. "while the postliberals are right about what leads to uniformity in the process of rule following, the wittgensteinian point is that nothing fixes these communal norms in place.
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The Triune God: An Essay in Postliberal Theology: William C

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years gustafson, max stackhouse and others have charged that postliberal theology risks ghettoizing the church with its fixation on liturgical practices and on the ecclesial context of christian speech. all theology is a human construction of symbols—models—that point to the unknowable god, but can never define or explain god. kathryn tanner, for example, criticizes postliberal theology for its tendency to insulate the church and theology from cultural pluralism, external criticism and issues of social justice. is an equal danger that thomist-leaning philosophical theology could have a similar effect in a different direction, trying to save theology by modernizing aquinas. and she is right that theology must come to terms with a more pluralistic understanding of culture. as a school the postliberal project has been shorter on movement-consciousness than many previous schools of its kind, such as boston personalism or the biblical theology movement. hauerwas, accommodation to non-christian assumptions is the fundamental failure of liberal theology. placher’s the triune god: an essay in postliberal theology each present, in placher’s words, something “as close to ‘my theology’ as i can get right now” (ix). with aquinas, whom he lands as the churchs best theologian of the divine triune ground of truth, marshall argues that christian theology must be "robustly trinitarian. the outwardly moving, self-relating divine ground of truth serves gods purpose of making us bearers of christs image by bringing us to true beliefs about gods triune self.

The Trinity | Steve Thomason

“it” (to use placher’s pronoun, which i find dissatisfying, though i have no good alternative) teaches us to see the patterns of god’s creative and redemptive work in the world, such that, with edwards, we see god “even in lowly spiders . brand of postliberalism places her closer to the classic liberal theologian albrecht ritschl than the neo-orthodox barth on the fundamental question of the rules for making christian claims. in gustafsons rendering, postliberal theology is essentially a strategy to avoid such questions "by limiting the intellectual and social context within which theologians and pastors can think about what they are saying and doing. at the recent american academy of religion convention, marshall clarified that his thinking is "realist" if realism merely refers to the belief that there is a world created by god that is neither god nor us. | the social god and the relational self by stanley grenz book | the practice of communicative theology by scharer and hilberath book | the entangled trinity by ernest simmons article | a trinitarian perspective on christian spirituality by mark mcintosh book | the trinity and an entangled world edited by john polkinghorne article | augustine in contemporary trinitarian theology by michel barnes book | god the spirit by michael welker book | the quest for the trinity by stephen r.[2] david kelsey posits that all knowledge of god is secondary knowledge, and that, to understand god truly, the researcher must observe the activities of the local congregation in its specific context. barth is the hero of hauerwass lectures, and the closing chapter gives a prominent role to marshalls case for conceiving the christian god as the truth, though it also suggests that marshall underestimates the problem of cultural accommodation in modern theology.[4] here i am referring to the much-rehearsed history of athanasius’ victory over arius at the council of nicea in which he demonstrated that god is three in person, but one in essence. holmes edmund hill’s translation of augustine’s de trinitate book | beyond foundationalism by stanley grenz and john franke book | after our likeness by miroslav volf book | systematic theology by robert jenson book | rediscovering the triune god by stanley grenz article | no trinity, no mission by gary simpson book | a theology of the built environment book | christopraxis by edmund arens book | god for us by catherine lacugna book | communion and otherness by john d. first part of this sentence is the barthian key to postliberal theology; the second part underscores the determination to avoid the charge often leveled at postliberals -- of wanting to take up residence in a ghetto of "intratextuality" and rely on "revelational positivism.

The Triune God: An Essay in Postliberal Theology By William C

The Sacraments and the Embodiment of our Trinitarian Faith

insisted that to hear scriptural narrative as gods word has nothing necessarily to do with defending its historical character or some particular historical element within it. to her, the boundaries of lindbecks theory of religion provide no protection from the issues liberal theology has engaged. placher, the triune god: an essay in postliberal theology (louisville, ky: westminster john knox press, 2007), 40-41. in the nature of doctrine, lindbeck accepts aquinass assertion that while we cannot begin to imagine what it means to say it, we must affirm that god is really good. theology at its best has held fast to these barthian themes. a 1998 exchange with placher in the christian century, gustafson charged that postliberals never give straight answers to questions about the historical credibility of biblical narrative or about the relation of christian truth to the truth of other religions. brief dogmatics seems to have made a return to english-speaking theology. significant sector of the postliberal school has similarly reconsidered its characterization of liberal theology as alien or fundamentally mistaken. in recent discussions with green, hauerwas, placher, tanner and marshall, i focused on these questions: is postliberal theology distinguished fundamentally by its position on the nature of religious truth? in the movement of gods word in preaching and sacrament, god brings about a correspondence of our whole self to gods self.

Postliberal theology - Wikipedia

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" to her the term postliberal implies, or at least should imply, that one has moved through and beyond liberalism, not necessarily against it. believes that modern theology has relied too much on a view of culture as a self-contained entity, and she argues that postliberal theology shares this deficiency. its greatest challenge is to make barthian claims about theology make sense to people who are not disposed to like them. this ecumenical concern is reflected in the postliberal commitment to developing freis "generous orthodoxy. they are, in effect, rethinking the relation of postliberal theology to liberal theology in what way does it go beyond or counter classic liberalism? it was my assumption that the rt would have a traditional, western model of the trinity as their frame for understanding god as we began this project. hauerwas and marshall, the postliberal turn to aquinas and the spiritual practices of the liturgical churches is linked to the original postliberal project of rethinking christian orthodoxy in a postliberal spirit. the research was conducted in the understanding that god is not an object that can be studied or a concept to be considered, but that god is the ground of being itself from which all life springs forth. "i start where postliberalism usually starts but burst the usual boundaries of discussion by attention to the way the wider culture and other religions are contested ingredients from the first in a christian viewpoint. philosophically, this stream of postliberal thinking draws chiefly on the work of ludwig wittgenstein, whose writing on "language games" emphasizes that meaning arises as a function of learning the internal coherence of a language.

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though barth grieved in his later life that most theologians rejected his approach to theology in favor of current cultural and hermeneutical fads, he looked for word-oriented allies wherever he could find them, and for the most part he did not persist in claiming that liberalism was the fatal problem in modern theology. theologically, philosophically, historically and liturgically, this group believes, evangelical protestantism is too thin to be the best interlocutor for a vital protestant theology of the new century. many postliberals acknowledge that their positions on the historicity of biblical narrative and the religious truth contained in non-christian religions are compatible with liberalism. attention to this issue bothers some in the postliberal school. wildman book | spirituality and theology: christian living and the doctrine of god by philip sheldrake article | appropriating the divine presence: reading augustine’s on the trinity as a transformative text by edward howells article | spirituality and social change: rebuilding the human city by philip sheldrake. postliberals rightly complain that liberal critics repeatedly inveigh against a hoary insulated "neo-orthodoxy" that has little to do with barths rich and profound thinking." to gustafson, the whole project smacks of a tribalist theology which exalts faithfulness to community identity "rather than openness to participation in the intersections of religious and theological outlooks with other outlooks on the same realities that religion and theology address. but in what way do postliberals affirm the truth of christianity? he repeats the charge from john zizioulas that the ancient eastern church “begins with” the threeness of the persons and the western “begins with” the one substance of god." postliberal thinkers have to find new ways to connect with the secular people who surround them, green urges.

significant trend within the postliberal movement agrees with hauerwas and marshall that the best way to a generous orthodoxy heads in a catholic direction. thus, the participatory action research methodology used in this research is, in itself, a theological inquiry into the mystery of the triune god. the triune god is so lucid and engaging that readers will envy placher’s many students at wabash college, teaching whom surely makes for much of the clarity of his writing. placher laments western christian terminology for the trinity, since using persona for the greek hypostasis could suggest an actor’s mask, such that god is really one but playacting as three (though of course in theologians’ hands it no longer meant that). while disclaiming any nostalgia for neo-orthodoxy, the postliberal theologians are advancing the old neo-orthodox project of rethinking christian orthodoxy in a modern spirit. such classical descriptions of divine attributes are negative markers, placeholders, that say no more than what god is not : a being with parts, temporal, spatial, countable, and so on. remains ambivalent about the use of the term postliberalism ("ive never really thought of myself as being positioned beyond liberalism," he says), and he says he puts little stock in lindbecks theory of religion. zizioulas book | systematic theology by pannenberg book | the trinity and the kingdom by jürgen moltmann article | the incarnation and the trinity by christopher b. the advocates of yale postliberalism and chicago liberalism are probably outnumbered by those who, like tanner, are trying to build bridges between these approaches. a rule postliberal thinkers are not categorical in defining their relationship to liberal theology.

The Future of Postliberal Theology

the immanent trinity, then, is the transcendent god of divine substance that is separated from the material world in the tradition of platonic dualism. historical investigation simply cannot yield the sort of knowledge faith seeks, because god is mystery. his immanent model of god as three-in-one within godself has been reduced, over time, to monarchial modalism, at best, in western, modern theology. they could be lapsing into the kind of postliberalism that has no "post" at all. the best we can hope for in philosophizing about god is to be “usefully puzzled,” placher argues. of the literature generated by and about postliberal theology has debated these questions. therefore the best philosophical dialogue-partners are the philosophers that theologians might be least inclined to trust: derrida and levinas can teach us much more about the incomprehensible god than anyone who pretends to know anything about god. while postliberals have rightly perceived the importance of culture for christian identity, they misuse wittgenstein to serve their orthodox ends, says tanner. his rethinking of the postliberal project amounts to a christian reconceptualization of the correspondence theory of truth. book the domestication of transcendence elaborates this argument with the implicit purpose of showing that postliberal theology is not antirealist.

God Cannot Be Understood, Only Adored | Jason Byassee | First

she is interested is not so much in a third way between liberalism and conservatism, she explains, as in a third way between yale postliberalism and the chicago school of liberalism. lindbecks "experiential-expressivist" model does a reasonably good job of accounting for the romantic and mystical streams of liberal theology, but it does not account for variants of liberal theology that make gospel-centered claims (such as the tradition of evangelical liberalism), that base their affirmations on metaphysical arguments (such as the whiteheadian process school) or that appeal to gospel norms and metaphysical arguments (such as the boston personalist school). in that regard, tanner is right not to follow those postliberals who invest great significance in lindbecks critique of theological liberalism. meanwhile, the postliberal school founded in the 1970s by hans frei and george lindbeck has entered its second generation and is showing signs of producing a variety of offshoots. one thinks about whether it is possible for christian theology to be systematic—and there are good reasons to think not—we can at least say it is good manners to attempt to lay out everything one thinks in an orderly fashion. ted peters, god–the world’s future: systematic theology for a new era, 2nd ed. yet it is entitled “the unknowable god,” and is mostly a running engagement with modern and post-modern philosophers about “proof” for god’s existence. i wonder whether we can’t know a good deal more via our “own” philosophical rumination without divine revelation, precisely because our “own” groping in the dark after god is occasionally not only our own at all, it can be ‘always already graced,’ to paraphrase henri de lubac. meanwhile, liberation theologians have protested that postliberal theology is more concerned with christian catechesis, formation and liturgy than with the struggle for social justice. in this approach, the postliberal answer to the truth question is that scripture is true in the manner of its distinctively mixed genre and that, yes, it is enough to say that biblical truth is the capacity of the text to draw readers into a christian framework of meaning.

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under the authority of gods free word, she contends -- her work retains some barthian glosses -- christian identity is constituted "by a community of argument concerning the meaning of true discipleship. version of postliberal theorizing on knowledge is compatible with the "cautious realism" that placher also upholds. more important, the family resemblances among the different kinds of postliberal theology are getting thinner as the protegés of frei and lindbeck rethink what it means to say that christianity is true. myth: interpreting modern theology is to be published this year (1997). third trend in the postliberal school takes a very different tack, arguing that postliberal theology as a whole is overly preoccupied with epistemological debates and is too much focused on conserving tradition. olaf college), who in several essays and in his recent book trinity and truth maintains that theology must return to the rich trinitarian theism of thomas aquinas to get its bearings. yet his writings are filled with attacks on theological liberalism, and he shares with marshall the postliberal insistence that christian speech is supposed to reflect the practices of christian communities. he asks about the relationship between the economic trinity (god as revealed to us) and the immanent trinity (god in se ). whether theologians like tanner can move in this direction without giving up the barthian heart of the postliberal experiment remains to be seen. work reveals how different strands of thought are pushing postliberalism in new directions.

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