Gaylon Barker’s book about the theology of the cross in Bonhoeffer “The Cross of Reality: Luther’s Theologia Crucis and Bonhoeffer’s Christology” deserves the highest praise. Although, I have to admit, it’s also been a pain in the ass until I read it. That is to say, this book was published at the very moment that I did my innovative discovery of the theology of the cross being the guiding motif in all of Bonhoeffer’s work. Continue reading
As a theologian researching the theology of the cross (theologia crucis) in Bonhoeffer, it was time for me to read Andy Root’s “Christopraxis, A Practical Theology of the Cross.” I’m not a practical theologian. Not by profession, that is. I do think of myself of a systematic theologian who is deeply interested in the practical, and transformational power of theology. But practical and systematic theology are two different disciplines that, though intersecting, have their own, method and rationality. In this review, then, I will not discuss the contribution of Root to the field of practical theology, simply because I’m not qualified to do so. I will, however, look at the integration of the theologia crucis into his discipline. Continue reading
Recently someone asked me about the difference between a theology of the cross and a theology of glory. Let me briefly explain. The theology of the cross has its roots in St. Paul who in his 1st Epistle to the Corinthians spoke about the cross of Christ as foolishness to the philosophers and an affront to religion. Continue reading
Mapping Modern Theology is a fun book. I provides a different take on theology as it developed after the Enlightenment. Typically one will read a historical overview that takes the reader from movement to movement whereby differences and similarities between movements are highlighted. Another common approach consists of monographs that explicate the inner coherence and workings of a particular systematic theology. Continue reading
Bonhoeffer’s theology is a modern version of Luther’s theology of the cross. It is not merely a slavishly reworked version but constitutes a highly original contribution to the conversation that captures both the essential elements and the heart of Luther’s theology and makes it relevant for today. To the extent that Luther’s work represented a copernican revolution in theology Bonhoeffer’s work does too. Continue reading
A little shout-out here to Rudolf Bultmann on the occasion of Easter. This theologian deserves much more attention. The bad rap he gets for his project of demythologization (if he is mentioned at all in conservative circles) is entirely unjustified. I’ve just been reading his “New Testament & Mythology and Other Basic Writings” and can only say that, while I don’t subscribe to Bultmann’s demythologization, I’m deeply impressed.