Monday, November 20, 2006

Can anything good come out of Wales?

Our friend, the Exiled Preacher from Wales (though we should be gracious and not blame him for being Welsh; it’s not his fault), has written a helpful summary/review of Vanhoozer’s newish work, The Drama of Doctrine. I read the first 100-200 pages or so of the volume and was distracted, so I’m grateful that I can read Guy’s summary to catch up with where I left off.

Thus far I can confirm that it is an exceptional, excellent book and makes a buddle load of sense. The only other serious competitor to Vanhoozer’s approach is, I think, that of the cultural-linguistic model. But Vanhoozer rightly asks: if doctrine is nothing other than the grammar of the practices of the Christian community, then how can doctrine critically assess its own proclamation?

As Barth said:

‘Dogmatics is the science in which the Church, in accordance with the state of its knowledge at different times, takes account of the content of its proclamation critically, that is, by the standard of Holy Scripture and under the guidance of its confession’ (Dogmatics in Outline, p. 9)
I would have added something more explicit about the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but the point is in the emphasis.

Here are the Exiled Preacher’s recommended posts who, being Welsh, comes from the small village of Gwywingethleeshlmosziopscheuwlesqusqe.


At 11/20/2006 4:49 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

I think you misspelled it. It's


Ah, the Welsh.... What a happy yet odd speaking lot.

At 11/20/2006 6:48 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

I am with Chris on the issue and appreciate his postings on Bauckham's work. Carr trouble is no fun for sure.

At 11/20/2006 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Which being interpreted means "Thanks!"

Anyway, I'm not from some strange sounding village. I hail from Bassaleg (which, in case you don't know is just down the road from Riwderin).

At 11/20/2006 7:42 PM, Anonymous Scott Roberts said...

"Vanhoozer rightly asks: if doctrine is nothing other than the grammar of the practices of the Christian community, then how can doctrine critically assess its own proclamation?"

Here's an answer: make critique, and especially self-critique, an essential feature of the grammar of Christian practice, and hence doctrine.

At 11/20/2006 8:24 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

An excellent point, Scott. Thanks. I'll have to go away and muse on that. I wonder, though, by what standard is the self-critique to be made? It seems a canonical-liguistic approach facilitates self-reflection better, at least if that isn't taken to mean some kind of biblicism.

Fy pleser - or something like that!

At 11/21/2006 12:46 AM, Anonymous byron smith said...

I found DoD to be highly stimulation, though the controlling metaphor, despite his protestations, became at times a little too, well, controlling.

At 11/24/2006 6:03 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Byron, well, Vanhoozy would argue that the Drama is more than a metaphor. He talks about this in an interview about the book.


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