Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Lurkers of the World: Unite!

Always wanted to title a post with that.

Anway, about the previous post re: Calvin - Here are some of my thoughts in response:

Mary: Yeah, you read me right, I generally fought the urge to speculatively raise my eyebrow when Rev. Calvin enters the discussion. (Aside: What an eloquent gesture: the raised eyebrow! It says, "I'm not so sure about that, but I'm not so unsure or impolite as to actually say something, but I do want you to know that you're going to have to do a Whole Lot Better than that to convince me. So keep talking, though you continue to run the risk that I might actually raise the other eyebrow, and then I might start rebutting your comments." All with the deft movement of one or two facial muscles! And for those of us blessed with abundant eyebrows, the statement is even more provocative. /Aside)

Not only did C&Z disagree about Communion, Calvin and Zwingli also disagreed strongly on the nature and meaning of Baptism. Hence the whole "Anabapitst" movement. (AnaBeets! movement? heh just kidding. And for balance, let me also say, Truly Reformbeets!)

Not to mention the fact that when lining up for Sunday School, they always lined up alphabetically (ascending), and most scholars agree that this really bugged Zwingli and he never forgave Calvin for it.

Sean: The reason I'm having to back into Calvin is because I used to share your same impression, both about Calvin Acolytes and about Calvin himself: that he was "systematic" to the point of "problematic". But what I'm finding is that the disparate parts of his work that I read lead me to the conclusion that he was more prone to resting "Mystery" back in step #1, even though he continued to do his best to think down to #10. At the very least, I find that in Calvin's writings he left plenty of Mystery Room for me to be a bit more comfortable with him than I used to be. And also bear in mind how I'm coming into this: via Karl Barth & T.F. Torrance -- neither of whom are fans of Double Predestination (or even Single Predestination) yet still located the bedrock of their theolgy in agreement with his readings of the Scriptures. (And may I also continue to reserve the right to radically change my opinion about anything, at any time? Thanks. I see no reason to stop that personal policy of mine at this point in my life.)

I also deeply appreciate your gentle introduction of the term Biblical Theology. You prevented the raised eyebrow! Nice pre-emptive measure. :-) And so, equally gently and humbly, I'll comment on the term. I understand that this has become, as my father says, a "term of art" in the theological world. In other words, "Biblical Theology," is a technical term used to differentiate a theological approach. I find it as troublesome a technical term as I do "Systematic Theology". The trouble, as you no doubt anticipated in your pre-emptive apologia, is that any Theology worth it's salt (IMHO), is biblical: ie, firmly grounded in the Scriptures. (Ol' Cal is spinning in his grave over the notion that some professor somewhere doesn't think his theology is "Biblical".) Just as any Theology worth pursuing is systematic: ie, internally coherent, thorough, thoughtful, addressing all of life in light of who God is. And while I'm at it, let's also nit-pick about "Pastoral" Theology. As if any good thinking about God (that is, Theological Thinking), didn't end up in pastoral application. Not that people don't all the time stop their theological train of thought before getting to pastoral theology. It's just that it's incoherent to do so: like getting married only to never move into the house with your spouse. That's the point of getting married: live & love together! That's the point of theological thought: to do pastoral care. (Snarky Aside: Then again, some folks' theology leads to very unpastoral care. Which is perhaps why in actual pastoral application, they switch theologies. Which is probably a very good thing. /Snark)

Why don't we start a new Theological Movement right here? Let's put it all together and call it Integrated Theology. Of course, in my mind this is like saying, "Let's call it Good Theology." But it's my movement, and I'll cry if I want to. (I can already hear the protests, "Hey, wait! Are you saying that my Theology is somehow un-integrated? Dis-integrated? How dare you! If I were wearing gloves, I would take one off and slap you with it. But I'm a poor Theologian, so I can't. Wait, I didn't mean that, I meant that I don't have alot of money, not that I'm a poor Theologian.)

i would want to look at Systematic Theology as a valuable resource with all of the Augustine/Luther/Calvin/Barth/Torrance eminences as valuable resources, but secondary over against the Biblical data.
Me too. And I think Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Barth & Torrance would all agree with you. Shall we also throw in all the Biblical and Pastoral Theologians in that list as well and declare that we all are just doing the best we can to understand the Scriptures by the Spirit and live in Christ also by the same Spirit? :-)

Willis! Good to see you here at Kith&Kin. Lurkers are always welcome. Though your Lurker status is somewhat jeopardized by your comment. Jeopardize away!

Edited at 9:30pm: because coherent syntax & grammar are so helpful to reading comprehension! And because, in the immortal words of Paul Stokes, the 8:39pm post was, "a good rough draft."

No comments: