Saturday, February 23, 2008

Academic theology stuck in a crisis?

Prof. Friedrich Wilhelm Graf thinks so.

To generalise horribly, I have mixed feelings about much German NT exegesis. While it most often proves to be the best in the world when it comes to depth of research and syntactical analysis of the Greek, it can also tend to be rather insular in its focus.


At 2/23/2008 8:44 PM, Anonymous AndrewG said...

Dear Chris; Found your blog just looking around on the net. I find your left-brain approach to Christian theology refreshing, as I am a fellow left-brain-dominant individual! I am also happy to find your blog simply for the reason that I appreciate getting the perspectives of Christians OUTSIDE of the US, where our brand of Christianity is, well, let's say, a little shallow in general. Keep up the great work. Come and visit me on my blog sometime. Bless you.

At 2/23/2008 9:26 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Thanks for your kind words, Andrew. All the best to you and your work in "blogdom"

At 2/25/2008 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two comments, really.

First of all, It seems to me that if you are going to take Humpty Dumpty apart and examine all of his inner workings, it at least makes sense to put him back together again so you can ponder what a lovely egg he is. After all, the point of taking it all apart is not just to see the parts but to understand how they work to inform the whole. So I am in favor of all of the German exegetical work. But the work doesn’t end there. It’s really just the beginning of the process of telling the larger story.

Secondly, the proper place for Christian theological thought really is in the churches and not in the universities. I am all in favor of academic theological institutions – God willing, I will feed at that trough for the rest of my life. But Christian thinking needs to be done inside of Christian communities or it will stifle.

Nelson Moore

At 2/25/2008 9:58 AM, Anonymous Craig Bennett said...

Nelson I agree with partly in what you say. I think that it is a revolving cycle between the preacher, congregation, academic.
Take the beginnings of the Pentecostal movement for example, and its impact on theological thought, where it took a while for theologians to actually take it seriously.
And now that it has, some great theological thought and thinkers have and still are working through its consequences, some of which is having a good impact on the church.

I think the next two revolutions to impact theologians will be both the Prosperity Gospel and the Emergent / Emerging Church.

I don't think there has been a great deal of academic theological thought working through those areas yet, apart from the usual arms being thrown up in horror type reaction.
But I see in the future it will have to be so as not to throw any good stuff that might be there out with the proverbial bathwater.

At 2/25/2008 10:04 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

What with the hammer and nail as well, I conclude you have a gifting for metaphors!

Thanks for your comment, Craig.


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