Friday, 28 February 2014
Why does the world need another theology blog by a doctoral student?
I suppose it doesn't. I suppose there are enough not-quite-articulate writers out there offering half-formed ponderings on God that to add one more drop to the pool of ignorance won't hurt. Perhaps there are even a few folks who might benefit from my particular perspective. I claim no uniqueness. I do think, though, that I may be representative of a larger move in my generation of evangelical Christians towards something more traditional and less reductionistic. Maybe a growing number of us are tired of apologetics, as if sorting out epistemic foundations will compel others to adopt the faith. Maybe we sense that virtue might in fact have something to do with knowledge, that truth and goodness might be inseparable, that there might be something deeper going on in than Bible than just a record of some ancient people's beliefs. Anyway I could go on, but I'll just get to the point. I've named this blog "Figurations" because I'm all about what might dismissively be called "allegory." That is, a certain kind of approach to the Bible practiced by the Apostles and Fathers of the Church that for various historical reasons fell out of fashion in the Early Modern period, but which is in fact inseparable from orthodoxy. I won't get too far into it now, but both "conservative" and "liberal" are terrified by the alleged subjectivity of this approach. This, however, is a red-herring. There is nothing subjective about figural (aka. allegorical, aka. typological) readings of Scripture. The suppressed reason many modern Christians don't like this kind of interpretation is because it requires the interpreter to become like the One we study. It requires that we become Christ-like. But our churches betray this likeness by the fact that they are "churches" rather than "the Church." Well, that's enough for now. I'll just sum up by stating that this is a blog of evangelical, catholic, and ecumenical theology. It will probably have a lot of sermons and reflections that try to put into practice something approaching figural exegesis of Scripture.