Archives for category: Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (Bruce Ashford)

Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (15): Christian theology aims for wisdom.

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In the last installment, we noted that Christian theology strives for truth. In our Western intellectual context, we tend to equate “truth” with science-oriented knowledge. But Christian theology provides more than that sort of knowledge. It also leads one to wisdom. In fact, for two millennia, theologians have debated about … Read More »

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Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (14): Christian theology aims for truth.

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In the past several decades, certain philosophers, literary theorists, and other intellectuals have put forth intellectual programs that are (more or less) relativist. While metaphysical relativists (there is no such thing as truth) are rare, epistemological relativists (we cannot know truth) are on tap in nearly any department on a … Read More »

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Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (13): Further Thoughts on Theology & the Sciences

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In any public discussion of Christian theology, could there be a bigger elephant in the room than its relationship to the sciences? And let’s be honest about it: theologians have often been at fault. There are some theologians who ought not to speak so authoritatively about scientific matters because their … Read More »

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Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (12): Further Thoughts on Theology & Philosophy

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In the last post, we discussed briefly the relationship between Scripture, theology, and other academic disciplines. In this post, we will follow up on one strand of that discussion by discussing the historically enigmatic relation between theology and philosophy. An account of the theological task must provide an account of … Read More »

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Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (11): Some Thoughts on Theology, Philosophy, and Science

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Many of the most formative moments of my life occurred during college (waaaayyy back in the mid 90s). I had just recently truly embraced Christ and had begun to realize the moralism and self-righteousness that had blurred my spiritual and theological vision. During those years, I began to realize that, … Read More »

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Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (10): The Task of Theology is Shot Through with Culture and Context.

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No doubt those of us in conservative circles understand the deleterious influence “culture” has had on Christian theologians throughout church history. We rightly (and repeatedly) note how liberal-revisionist theology tends to become captive to its own cultural context. Schleiermacher and some of his heirs viewed theology as disciplined reflection on … Read More »

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Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (8): What Roles Do Philosophical Theology and Systematic Theology Play?

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For many Christians, the words “philosophical” and “systematic” do not have the best of connotations. “Philosophy” reminds them, perhaps, of certain philosophers who have mocked Christianity, such as Nietzsche or several of the New Atheists. Likewise, “systematic” might conjure up images of theologians whose “system” subverts or overrides the biblical … Read More »

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Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (7): Who Needs the Bible When They Have a Good Systematic Theology?

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An anonymous reviewer once skewered a book by saying, “This book is both good and original. Unfortunately the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.” That’s clever and it made for a nice dig against a certain book, but there is … Read More »

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Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (6): Who Cares About History and Tradition?

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Oddly enough, early on in my Christian life, I was not remotely interested in church history. (I’ll never forget the first day of seminary when I saw the 1200 page reading list for my Church History course, including Justo Gonzales’ 2-volume tome, The Story of Christianity. I remember thinking I’d … Read More »

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Doing Theology as a Servant of Jesus (5): Theology Has Everything To Do with Reason, Culture, Experience, and Tradition.

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This blog series is based upon the conviction that God can be known. But this conviction raises the question: If we believe that God can be known in a true, trustworthy, and sufficient manner (albeit not comprehensively or univocally), where do we look for such knowledge and how do we … Read More »

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