I’ve recently been given a glimpse of the cover design for my forthcoming book: For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas (Pickwick Publications).
I particularly appreciate the striking juxtaposition of colours and images. Not to mention that the image of a garden in the wasteland is one of my favourite biblical metaphors for the new creation reality of the church.
I’ll have more to say about the book in the days ahead as the release date draws near. Suffice to say, though, the appearance of the cover design signals that the day is fast approaching!
In recent weeks, as I’ve been preparing my paper for the upcoming “Participating in God’s Mission” conference, I have re-immersed myself in the writings of the German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The other day I came across a passage that caught my attention on account of both its humorous and its prophetic character. Continue reading Renewing the Church Starts with Learning to Love It
“The church makes disciples in order to form a company of faith, a theater of martyrdom” (218). Kevin Vanhoozer elucidates this claim in the concluding chapter of his recent book Faith Speaking Understanding: Performing the Drama of Doctrine (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014). The chapter sparked some thoughtful discussion in my systematic theology class this past week. During the discussion it occurred to me that we privileged Western Christians are sometimes enamored with overly romantic conceptions of martyrdom. Continue reading Martyrdom and the “No” of Faith
I’ve had a lot on my plate in recent days – including wrapping up an intensive theology course at Tyndale Seminary and preparing to preach on the Samson narrative at Toronto Chinese Alliance Church this coming Sunday – which has contributed to somewhat of a lull in my production of blog posts. Also quickly approaching is the “Participation in God’s Mission” conference at Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, NY, where I will be presenting a paper. Continue reading Upcoming Conference Presentation
In the winter of 1936, Dietrich Bonhoeffer delivered a series of lectures on the theme of pastoral care to the seminarians under his direction at the underground seminary at Finkenwalde. Bonhoeffer concluded this course of lectures by reflecting on the need for pastoral care for pastoral counselors. Interestingly, Bonhoeffer suggests that “another source of trouble for the serious pastor is his own theology” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 14, ed. H.G. Barker and M.S. Brocker (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013), 590). Continue reading Bonhoeffer on the Danger of Theology
Theological reflection always begins in the middle. After all, theological reflection is the work of a people who find themselves on pilgrimage (in via) as a result of being claimed by the address of the Triune God. There is no getting back to square one – to some primal location – for we are historical creatures who cannot escape our positioning in a good, but fallen world that started long before we arrived and, God willing, continue for long after we’ve died. Furthermore, if God is truly God, then God is not simply there to be discovered like helium or hydrogen, mites or mandrills. If theological reflection is to be truly theological it can only be, as Karl Barth famously maintained, a “thinking after” (Nachdenken in German) the reality of God’s self-revelation in the person of Christ. Continue reading Beginning in the Middle