Saturday, January 28, 2006

Praying Theology II

“The first and basic act of theological work is prayer”

“It is imperative to recognise the essence of theology as lying in the liturgical action of adoration, thanksgiving, and petition”

-- Karl Barth

(quoted in Leanna Van Dyk (ed.), A More Profound Alleluia, [Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2005] xvi and xvii)

Don Saliers, it is noted, claims that:

‘the dependence of theology on worship runs so deep in the theology of Karl Barth that “critical theological thinking is secondary and therefore derivative of the first-order theology shown in praying to God”’

(xix-xx, citing Saliers, Worship as Theology)

What is your opinion? Do you think Barth is correct?


At 1/29/2006 4:51 AM, Anonymous T.B. Vick said...

I agree with Barth and would add that theology is also proclamation of the gospel, and discourse or dialogue, along with the written Word of God, all are enveloped in theology as a task of the Church.

In fact, I have been working on an article for my blog that I am about to post titled The Task of Theology and I have included a quote similiar to the one you posted here.

Thanks for the thoughts, Chris.

At 1/29/2006 4:05 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Todd,
I look forward to your article!
Perhaps we could summarise the task of theology as the 'enjoyment of God' (sounds like Piper, eh?!) - this would include worship, but also, i think, mission, and its 'norming norm' (as Franke calls it), scripture.


At 1/29/2006 4:14 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

"Theology" wrote Packer, "is for doxology. That is, the praise of God and the practice of godliness." How can one seek to describe the God of scripture, without at least attempting to know that God for yourself? Sure experience is a highly subjective guide in theological exploration, but it should at least play SOME part.

Well, that's my bias anyway...

At 1/29/2006 4:46 PM, Anonymous T.B. Vick said...

Chris states:
"Perhaps we could summarise the task of theology as the 'enjoyment of God'"

I like that a lot - and it does sound like Piper.

At 1/29/2006 11:21 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Sean,
How can one seek to describe the God of scripture, without at least attempting to know that God for yourself?

This is an important point! Such a 'hermeneutic of engagement' is entirely justifiable and necessary.

At 1/29/2006 11:25 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

I think you said something about your sister being a member of his church, or did I imagine that?

At 1/30/2006 12:33 AM, Anonymous Ben Myers said...

Barth has some very nice things to say about all this in his brilliant book on Anselm. And of course Anselm offers a particular model of a "praying theology", since some of his major theological treatises are actually written in the form of prayer.

At 1/30/2006 12:53 AM, Anonymous T.B. Vick said...

She is a member of his church. . . everytime we go to visit her I get to hear Piper preach.

John Piper has ruined me . . . its difficult to enjoy anyone elses preaching after hearing him.

At 1/30/2006 3:29 AM, Anonymous T.B. Vick said...

BTW "Such a 'hermeneutic of engagement' is entirely justifiable and necessary."

This what Robert Jenson stresses (amongst other things) in volume one of his two volume syatematic theology.

At 1/30/2006 7:42 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Barth has some very nice things to say about all this in his brilliant book on Anselm.

Looks like another to add to my list of need-to-reads!

*wonders if Ben is getting royalties for Barth's books*

At 1/30/2006 7:44 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

What did you think of the Robert Jenson systematics Todd?

P.S: I went through a big Piper phase a while ago, and I especially liked his The Pleasures of God. The thought that God delights in his Son took on a whole new meaning for me.

At 1/30/2006 3:24 PM, Anonymous T.B. Vick said...

Chris, I am actually still going through Jenson, vol 1. I am enjoying it very much.

Have you ever heard Piper preach?

At 1/30/2006 7:17 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Yes, I have heard Piper preach, but to be honest it was so long ago now ...

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