the generous orthodoxy think tank communal blog, a way-too-smart collective of thinkers and theologians, who regularly post about stuff i can barely understand, has a great post today. it’s a book review, by roger olson, theology prof at truett, of john franke’s new book, the character of theology.
i might try to read john’s book. but i’m quite confident it will be a way-tough read for me. but i can understand most of olson’s review! and i really connected with this quote from the book:
“Nonfoundationalist theology does not eschew convictions and commitments; it simply maintains that all such convictions and commitments, even the most long-standing and dear, remain subject to ongoing critical scrutiny and the possibility of revision, reconstruction and or even rejection.” (p. 78)
this quote so resonates with my approach to truth, scripture and revelation. even today, my wife and i have been wrestling (not literally, freak) with how to respond to a friend who is wrestling with us about “speaking truth” to another friend who is wrestling with a major life issue and, we believe, really needs to hear the truth that jesus loves him. yeah, i know that was cryptic. deal with it.
i think this little quote puts a finger on the bulging vein of quite a few discussions i’ve had recently. people with whom i do not actually disagree on a particular theological issue, but whom i still find taking an argumentative positition with me when talking about that issue. that bulging vein, i’m realizing, is that i’m nonfoundationalist in my approach to a particular theological “bit” and the other person, maybe, is foundationalist; and even if we are currently standing on the same square, our approach to and belief about the role of that square is subtly different. and that’s where we experience an almost-non-definable rub. (i suppose if you stand too close to someone on a square, rub is bound to happen!)
but i can’t exactly say, in these situations, “oh, well, you’re a foundationalist, and i’m a nonfoundationalist. so there.”