I also think this state of the field is a by-product of the fact that many up-and-coming theologians right now are not what we used to call “churchmen” in any strong sense (“churchwomen” included): they are not tied to denominational identities, they are not participants in the specifics of ecclesiastical governance/teaching, they are not subject to ecclesial magisteria of any sort, they are not aspiring to chairs in their denominational seminaries, etc. From where I sit, freelancing does not seem very conducive to healthy theologizing.
Again, Perriman offers a different way to think about the relationship of an historical hermeneutic and a theological hermeneutic when approaching Scripture. Must they be prioritized or pitted against one another?
Eric Reitan responds to McKnight saying, “You mangled me.” Here at The Edge of the Inside I often find Scot McKnight helpful and constructive, even evocative. In this piece, we once again see how the Interwebs become the new means of conversation than, say, an email or phone call. Just because Reitan is at Oklahoma State, does not mean he would as soon pull a pistol (Pete) than have a conversation.
Rebecca Tucker’s paper is revisited post-Oslo, Norway and the recent tragedy there. Tucker uses Grenz to think through the long-standing issue of theodicy. She writes,
Whatever the answer, philosophical postulations to a hurting heart are like spitting on a bleeding wound, believing there is some healing to be had through bacteria-ridden saliva, but ultimately only adding infection to hurt. It is here, in response to this wound, as we genuinely seek healing, that The Named God and the Question of Being takes on new importance and we begin to ask the new question: how do a relational God and God’s relational image-bearers together exist in the face of evil.
Fitzgerald takes the sheen off of Wilberforce and so exposes the sticky wicket of strong stands on singular social ills. He writes,
Wilberforce’s politics, particularly his strident abolitionist positions, were motivated in large part by his evangelical beliefs. But these led him to hold other kinds of positions, too. As Adam Hochschild notes in his book Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves, chief among Wilberforce’s concerns was “the suppression of sin.”
Kester Brewin reflects on conversations about the poor in relationship to U.S. and European economic crises. He recalls his conversation partners position,
To summarise his position: there are a number of ‘triggers’ – economic, environmental, political – which could pull the US and other parts of the world into a scenario where the normal societal structures collapse. Food distribution, welfare payments, fuel networks, healthcare and policing – all of these could effectively cease functioning (and with some US cities close to bankruptcy, how far off is that?).
Ballmer remembers Stott. He closes with a challenge to Evangelicals,
But evangelicals could appropriate much more from this extraordinary man: his views on social responsibility, his attitude toward women, his aversion to sectarianism, and, most of all, his gentle and irenic manner.