Classes, Classes, and more Classes

I appreciate Ken’s comment on my previous post. I will post as often as I can and when I have something of weight to say. Of course, what is “weighty” for one person is “shallow” to another.

I hope to post some reflections on the “Critical Concern” course I took with John Franke at the Emergent Conference here in Nashville. It was a wonderful dialogue–particularly since there were only five attendees at this session which gave us an opportunity to think together in significant ways. I will cut out some time to post on that tomorrow.

Today, however, I am catching up on some classes. This summer I am teaching three graduate courses this summer. This will be the first time that I have taught Systematic Theology as an online class. But I enjoy the dialogue of the online environment where everyone gets to speak more often and more fully than in a classroom context. I am also teaching Postmodern Theologies for Lipscomb University as well. This is the first time I have taught this course, and it is consuming lots of time with reading in the postmodern literature more fully than I ever have before. I find it fascinating, illuminating and stretching. I am also teaching one class for Harding Graduate School of Religion which meets in early June. I have taught Providence and Suffering several times. It is always stimulating both intellectually and existentially, but it is also gut-wrenching as we relive stories, think theologically about them, and seek ways to “weep with those who weep” but weep with hope.

So much of my time is consumed with these three topics, but they are also interconnected. I want to think theologically in a postmodern context, particularly as people encounter evil, injustice and tragic suffering in their journey of faith. So the three classes form a kind of unit for me and I fully anticipate learning, growing and being enriched by my journey through these topics with students/friends.

Rubel Shelly and I have taught the last few Wednesdays together on the topic of “perfected through suffering.” When I have opportunity, I will post something about what our discussion has been like.


John Mark

5 Responses to “Classes, Classes, and more Classes”

  1.   c Says:

    Thanks for your hard work, especially in our class. I like how we are somewhat discussing Emergent Theologies in our Systematic class. I wish I could take that Postmodern class, but work doesn’t permit me to take a week off. But I’ll keep the syllabus around for references to books from Lindbeck, Smith, Rashke, and Milbank. I read someone’s notes on Franke’s talk about T(t)ruth. Had some good connections to our class. Thanks again Dr.Hicks.

  2.   john alan turner Says:

    Have you read any of Scot McKnight’s critique of D.A. Carson’s book BECOMING CONVERSANT WITH THE EMERGING CHURCH? Dr. McKnight’s blog is

  3.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    I have recently purchased Carson’s book, but I have not yet read it. I have read his review of Grenz’s Renewing the Center.

    I will talk a look at McKnight’s blog. He is a scholar I highly respect and it should be interesting. Thanks for the pointer.

    Clark, Franke does like that distinction between Truth and truth, which he got from Westphal (a Fordham University philosopher). More on that later, I hope.

  4.   Ken Haynes Says:

    Sounds like you have neat stuff going on this summer. I have the VanHoozer book and was getting ready to get Smith’s Intro to Radical Orthodoxy because Milbank seems to be quoted so often in the things I browse. What postmodern gestures do you have the most affinity to? Probably tough question since you would not want to get pinned down to one. Post- lib? Radical Orthodoxy, Onto-theology?…guess there is overlap and different dimensions with each one huh.

  5.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    I suppose, generally speaking–and this would all need more elucidation–I am oriented in the postevangelical direction, tracking with Grenz, Franke, Olsen and others of that variety. But “postevangelical” is such an elastic term that it only gives the broadest context for identification.

    At the present, however, I am particularly enjoying reading James Smith. I find his neo-Calvinist philosophy (which has links to Kuyper) quite helpful in the postmodern context. (Note: don’t read neo-Calvinist as equal to historic Calvinism, but rather as philosophical orientation. I woudl suggest reading his Fall of Interpretation as great introduction to postfoundationalist, postmodern thinking that seeks a “creational hermeneutic” within the context of Creation, Fall, Redemption, Eschaton biblical narrative. It is heady, philosophical stuff, I warn you but is quite beneficial.)

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