Theology? Doctrine? Whatever…. (SBD 2)

May 6, 2009

A few introductory comments on the definition and function of theology…… Systematic Biblical Doctrine That’s the title of the course I will teach this Maymester at the undergraduate level for Lipscomb University. I don’t particularly like it. Here’s why. “Doctrine” rings hollow at best for most students (especially at the undergraduate level) and creates hostile […]

A Ten-Word Faith Statement for My Grandchildren?

April 7, 2009

As part of the the Maximum Grandparenting seminar, Leon Sanderson challenged us to think of a ten-word summary that we would like to leave as a legacy for our grandchildren. It might be something we would constantly repeat in their ears or it may simply summarize what it is that we want to communicate to […]

Reading the Gospel of Mark

February 8, 2009

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God (1:1). Mark’s first words, in a Roman political and cultural context, are startling.  “Gospel” was the term used to describe the joyous announcement of imperial news, that is, the Roman Emperor has secured peace, prosperity and security for the known world. “Son of […]

Facing Our Failures: A Review

January 12, 2009

Peter Abelard (1079-1142), who pioneered the scholastic method of theologizing, produced a volume entitled Sic et Non (or, “Yes and No”) for use in teaching through the dialectic method. It is a composition of quotes from earlier theologians and fathers on a variety of topics, but they are arranged oppositionally, that is, some theologians say […]

The Function of Christian “Doctrine”

April 3, 2008

What image does “doctrine” evoke in your mind? Answers would probably range from meaningless discussions of unfruitful minutia of rationalistic projections by ivory-tower theologians to exciting visions of polemical engagements over distinctive points of doctrine. Both of these exercises could be called “doctrinal,” but both leave a bad taste in the mouth of contemporary Christians […]