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Archive for November, 2004

Systemic Theology

The faithmaps community has been discussing what more transpropositionally oriented term would be best selected to replace “Systematic Theology.” Last evening while reading Brian Mclaren‘s Generous Orthodoxy, specifically, while working through chapter 9 entitled “Why I am Mystical/Poetic” (which is by far my favorite so far because it’s so in tune with what we’ve been trying to say with the term faithmaps ), I stumbled upon Brian’s suggested replacement term:

Systemic Theology.

I think it’s helpful because it doesn’t completely trash the modern impulse to look at things from a system perspective and yet it also doesn’t tout any triumphalism of the systemic approach.

Brian also quotes with approval a favorite passage of mine from Barth‘s Dogmatics in Outline (though Brian lists the passage as being from the foreward to Church Dogmatics. I don’t own nor have I read that book, so perhaps they share the same forward? ):

My lectures at the University of Basel are on “Systematic Theology.” In Basel and elsewhere the juxtaposition of this noun and this adjective is based on a tradition which is quite recent and highly problematic. Is not the term “Systematic Theology” as paradoxical as a “wooden iron” [sic]? One day this conception will disappear just as suddenly as it has come into being.

Brian also mentions coherent, contextual, conversational, and comprehensive as potential alternatives.


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Systemic Theology

The faithmaps community has been discussing what more transpropositionally oriented term would be best selected to replace “Systematic Theology.” Last evening while reading Brian Mclaren‘s Generous Orthodoxy, specifically, while working through chapter 9 entitled “Why I am Mystical/Poetic” (which is by far my favorite so far because it’s so in tune with what we’ve been trying to say with the term faithmaps ), I stumbled upon Brian’s suggested replacement term:

Systemic Theology.

I think it’s helpful because it doesn’t completely trash the modern impulse to look at things from a system perspective and yet it also doesn’t tout any triumphalism of the systemic approach.

Brian also quotes with approval a favorite passage of mine from Barth‘s Dogmatics in Outline (though Brian lists the passage as being from the foreward to Church Dogmatics. I don’t own nor have I read that book, so perhaps they share the same forward? ):

My lectures at the University of Basel are on “Systematic Theology.” In Basel and elsewhere the juxtaposition of this noun and this adjective is based on a tradition which is quite recent and highly problematic. Is not the term “Systematic Theology” as paradoxical as a “wooden iron” [sic]? One day this conception will disappear just as suddenly as it has come into being.

Brian also mentions coherent, contextual, conversational, and comprehensive as potential alternatives.


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andrew jones

when you speak with God and if you think of it, please mention andrew jones who had just lost his brother and now his dad this past friday night.

i bet he’d appreciate a comment on his blog too.

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keeping baby while throwing out bathwater



jason clark on tradition:



1. So often we play with these traditions picking the ones that are immediate and most accessable. I am sure we are missing out on much of these traditions by just taking the easy bits we like.



2. We get people who have tried something once on a retreat to teach us how to use liturgy, when maybe we should be getting people whose life is this, and history to teach us (to avoid more of number 1!)



3. We must not make the same mistake an throw off all our traditions, just as the low church forms threw of everything. By this I mean I hear of churches abandoning their evangelical charistmatic worship experiences wholesale to embrace a completely new way of worshipping, seeing their old way as invalid. Sounds like the same mistake we made when we abandoned much of the church traditions in the first place.



4. If we don’t take these cautions we are on a never ending cycle of re-inventions, superficiallity, and of being faddish, and missing out on the real value of tradition.



5. I suspect the real value of traditon is not to be ‘cool’, ‘relevant’, but to anchor us to something that confronts our consumerism (as much as I am refreshed by these traditions that are new to me).

jason gives us some helpful thoughts on tradition.

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andrew jones

when you speak with God and if you think of it, please mention andrew jones who had just lost his brother and now his dad this past friday night.

i bet he’d appreciate a comment on his blog too.

Read Full Post »

keeping baby while throwing out bathwater



jason clark on tradition:



1. So often we play with these traditions picking the ones that are immediate and most accessable. I am sure we are missing out on much of these traditions by just taking the easy bits we like.



2. We get people who have tried something once on a retreat to teach us how to use liturgy, when maybe we should be getting people whose life is this, and history to teach us (to avoid more of number 1!)



3. We must not make the same mistake an throw off all our traditions, just as the low church forms threw of everything. By this I mean I hear of churches abandoning their evangelical charistmatic worship experiences wholesale to embrace a completely new way of worshipping, seeing their old way as invalid. Sounds like the same mistake we made when we abandoned much of the church traditions in the first place.



4. If we don’t take these cautions we are on a never ending cycle of re-inventions, superficiallity, and of being faddish, and missing out on the real value of tradition.



5. I suspect the real value of traditon is not to be ‘cool’, ‘relevant’, but to anchor us to something that confronts our consumerism (as much as I am refreshed by these traditions that are new to me).

jason gives us some helpful thoughts on tradition.

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surviving cancer



just found this post by trevor mclaren who is brian mclaren‘s youngest son. bethany and i were going to cedar ridge and i remember when trevor was first diagnosed with cancer. well worth reading.

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