When I was teaching in Toronto, there was a period of several years in a row where I read Lesslie Newbigin’s Foolishness to the Greeks with my students. I consider the book, written in 1986, to be something of a 20th century theological classic. As evidence of that, I did try a few years ago to blog through Newbigin’s seven essentials for a church seeking a genuine missionary encounter with Western culture. I only made it through the first four before other endeavors required my attention, but you can find links to those previous posts here. Continue reading Newbigin’s Prophetic Insight
“God commanded Noah to make an Ark, in which he and his family — that is, his wife, his sons and his sons’ wives —were to be saved from the devastation of the Flood, together with the animals that went into the Ark in accordance with God’s directions. Without doubt this is a symbol of the City of God on pilgrimage in this world: that is, of the Church which is saved through the wood upon which hung ‘the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’.” (XV.26) 1
- Augustine, The City of God against the Pagans, trans. R.W. Dyson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). ↩
A rich, but very busy semester has cut into the frequency of my blog postings this year. However, a spring “snow day” here in Manitoba has provided me with the opportunity to share a quote from the 4th century Church Father Gregory Nazianzus. I was lecturing on the Cappadocian Fathers last week in my “Reading with the Fathers” class and we will be discussing Gregory’s “Defense of His Flight to Pontus,” as well as his “Last Farewell” (delivered at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D.) this coming week. Continue reading Gregory Nazianzus on the Pursuit of Wisdom
This is the sixth in a series of posts highlighting captivating, provocative, or simply entertaining quotes from the forthcoming book Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections by Stanley Hauerwas with Robert J. Dean (Cascade).
“In contrast to the triumphant church, the early church was a militant church. The militant church, moreover, alone is the church. The triumphant church, as well as the very concept of Christendom, is but vain conceit. Nowhere is that vanity more apparent than the triumphant church’s inability to produce martyrs. Continue reading The Failure of the Triumphant Church (Series on “Minding the Web”)
The forthcoming issue of the Canadian theological journal Didaskalia, published by Providence Theological Seminary, includes both a gracious review of my book For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas by Christopher Holmes and an essay of my own entitled, “A Matter of MIssion: Bonhoeffer, the Bible, and Ecclesial Formation.” Continue reading Forthcoming Issue of Didaskalia
I taught an intensive intercession course on the “Life and Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer” during the first week of January this year. While the students were responsible for completing some reading prior to our week together in class—including Christianne Tietz’s excellent, new short biography, Theologian of Resistance: The Life and Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer—most of the major engagement with the primary sources in the Bonhoeffer corpus has been taking place over the past few weeks following the conclusion of our time together in class. In recent days, the students would have encountered this remarkable passage from Bonhoeffer’s doctoral dissertation in which he addresses the question of what is means “to believe in the church.” The passage is noteworthy not only because it was penned by a theology student who was a mere twenty-one years old at the time, but also because it anticipates in many ways the central themes of Bonhoeffer’s ecclesiology that will come to the fore throughout his life. Continue reading Bonhoeffer on What it Means “To Believe in the Church”