Saturday, March 2, 2013

Death of Theology

A couple of Christian bloggers on the Patheos payroll have announced in recent blog post titles that "I don't believe in God anymore" or "I am agnostic". Whatever about the ethics of such a ploy, it does bring to the surface a trend that John Howard Yoder noticed in Richard Niebuhr half a century ago: namely, "the avoidance of concreteness in the name of transcendence." This trend aims to "keep anyone's understanding of God from getting too concrete".

This is a kind of conviction-less Christianity that ought not to be tolerated. Its humility is of the Western variety, where so much is known that we now know that all you little people down there don't really know anything at all.

In the mid-twentieth century we got death-of-God theology. Now it seems we are getting death-of-theology theology. Where has all our joy gone?


  1. Greenbelt?


  3. That Pete Enns post is a troll! I don't "believe" in God in the terms he describes it either. I "trust" in God. Silly word games to attract hits to a blog...

  4. It is a shockingly inept post ("belief fall"!!??), as well as being ethically dubious at best.

    But I think I do "believe" in God in some of the ways he describes. For example, he talks disparagingly of a "belief system" being "an intellectual construction of what sorts of things are right to think and not think about God." What's so wrong about thinking right things about God!? (that's directed at Enns, not you.)

    At the beginning of our chapel service in BBC this morning, one of the lecturers used the phrase "worship God with our thinking". That's not a popular idea at the moment, but I found it liberating. It reminded me of Paul's exhortation to the Philippians:

    "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about (logizomai) these things."