Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Give me the frigging blue pill Morpheus

During my undergraduate theological studies one of my seminar leaders and lecturers, a brilliant and provocative thinker by the name of Tim Gorringe casually mentioned that he had not really begun to understand theology until after he had finished his undergraduate degree! Now, seven years later, I am starting to understand! I guess I was never your most agreeable student, Tim, sorry about that.

My summer, though quiet on the blog front, has been a scurried frenzy of reading in vain attempts to resolve the emergence of one theological question after another. Tiring, disturbing, deeply enriching, exciting and even exhilarating – and all at the same time. Indeed, I've read some very exciting material, and I'm looking forward to reviewing some of it here and discussing it. Oh yes, in between I visited family and friends and spent 'quality time' with my wife.

Among other things I've been reading:

· Bedell, Geraldine. Make Poverty History. London: Penguin, 2005.
· Carson, D. A. Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.
· Chalke, Steve, and Alan Mann. The Lost Message of Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.
· Greene, Colin. Christology in Cultural Perspective. Carlisle: Paternoster, 2003.
· McKnight, Scot. The Jesus Creed. UK: CPI Bath Press, 2004.
· McLaren, Brain D. The Last Word and the Word After That. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.
· ------. A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.
· ------. A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/conservative, Mystical/poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-Yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished Christian. Grand Rapids: Youth Specialties, 2004.
· Tomkins, Stephen. A Short History of Christianity. Oxford: Lion, 2005.
· Wright, N.T. Scripture and the Authority of God. London: SPCK, 2005.
· ------. Jesus and the Victory of God. London: SPCK, 1996.
· ------. Paul for Everyone. Romans. Part 1: Chapters 1–8. London: SPCK, 2004.
. Blog after blog after blog ...

… all of which have been powerfully speaking to me even though I find myself sometimes in provisional disagreement.

On top of that, I've been listening to a number of provocative and disturbing audio messages and debates involving Walter Brueggemann and his take on aspects of OT theology, hermeneutics, epistemology, psychology and personal faith.

You know the scene in the Matrix where Neo has just realised that he can download entire fields of knowledge from a computer. He sits there in his jack-seat stunned and say, 'I know Jujitsu!' 'You want more', he is asked: 'Damn yes!' Well, I'm sitting in my jack-seat saying 'I now definitely know less than I thought I did and I'm deeply humbled'. Do you want more: 'Damn yes!' OK, maybe I don't want that blue pill.

Well, that's what my summer has been like. How was yours?


At 9/16/2005 12:49 AM, Blogger Ben Myers said...

Good to hear from you again, Chris. I don't suppose that Walter Brueggemann audio stuff is online?

At 9/16/2005 12:52 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Hi Ben,

Yes, I was away for a while in England and I didn't have much of a chance to get involved in blogs, but I visited yours when possible. Absolutely fascinating posts on your blog concerning scripture. Very enjoyable! I'm struggling to formulate a doctrine of scripture myself at the moment. My favourite monograph thus far has been Models for Scripture by John Goldingay (Paternoster, Carlisle: 1994). It is a book that helped prise me from fundamentalism, and so is of personal significance as well. And I'm glad to read that you will be continuing the theme next week!

I did find the audio messages online, yes. They are not all of equal quality – sometimes the microphone is so far away from Walter that you have to strain to hear. OK, I'm having problems getting this rather lengthy link to display here, I'll e-mail it to you.

It is the last two or three parts that have spoken so much to me (and violently rattled my theological cage!). Perhaps it will be singularly unremarkable for you, but I found his proposal that God is a 'recovering practitioner of violence' disturbing. I find myself in provisional disagreement with his method as I would prefer a rather more hermeneutically driven (focusing on the incarnational christological story and the love of God expressed in the aims of the kingdom) canonical reading, perhaps one embracing some sort of 'progressive revelation'. But I am not sure yet and will be interested to hear your thoughts once you've listened to them.

Oh yes, I finally got my copy of My Struggle for Freedom yesterday …!

All the best,

At 9/19/2005 5:54 AM, Blogger Ben Myers said...

Thanks for this, Chris. I haven't listened to the audio yet, but I'll get back to you when I have.

Glad to hear you managed to get a copy of My Struggle for Freedom. I also like Goldingay, and am currently reading the first volume of his OT theology ("Israel's Gospel"). It's very nice.

At 9/19/2005 12:10 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Yes, I've also been reading Goldingay's new OT volume. Very enjoyable. Well, its time to start posting on your blog I think...


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