According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Roger Olson, "The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction"

 
 
Book Promotion
 
by Roger Olson
August 25, 2013

What’s a blog for if one cannot use it to promote his books? The new InterVarsity Press catalog (“New Title Announcement/Winter 2014″) has just been published. It includes (on page 28) my forthcoming magnum opus The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction which will actually be about 710 pages in length (scheduled for publication in November). It’s a radical revision of Stan Grenz’s and my 20th Century Theology: God and the World in a Transitional Age published in 1992. I would say this is a whole new book as you can tell by comparing the two books’ tables of contents. Some of the subjects are the same (e.g., Schleiermacher, Barth, and Tillich) but the chapters about them have been completely rewritten.
 
Below I paste here the book’s Table of Contents for your perusal. But please go to amazon.com and read the four outstanding recommendations of the book by leading theologians including Francis Schussler Fiorenza (Harvard) and Veli-Matti Karkkainen (Fuller). This book is the culmination of years and years of study and teaching modern theology–from the Enlightenment to postmodern theology. The organizing theme is “Christian theological responses to modernity.” In each chapter I discuss how the theologian or movement under consideration responded to the “acids of modernity” (which I explain in the first chapters).

Table of Contents

Preface.…………………………………………………………………………………………
Introduction.……………………………………………………………………………………
1. Modernity Challenges Traditional Theology: the Context of Early Modern Theology……
1.a. Science Revises the Heavens………………………………………………………………..
1.b. Philosophers Lay New Foundations for Knowledge………………………………………..
1.c. Deists Create a New Natural Religion………………………………………………………
1.d. Critical Philosophers Limit Religion to Reason…………………………………………….
1.e. Realists, Romanticists and Existentialists Respond………………………………………..
2. Liberal Theologies Reconstruct Christianity in Light of Modernity…………………………
2.a. Friedrich Schleiermacher Launches a Copernican Revolution in Theology………………
2.b. Albrecht Ritschl and His Disciples Accommodate to Modernity…………………………
2.c. Ernst Troeltsch Relativizes Christianity……………………………………………………
2.d. Catholic Modernists Attempt to Bring Rome up to Date………………………………….
3. Conservative Protestant Theology Defends Orthodoxy in a Modern Way………………….
3a. Charles Hodge Constructs a Modern Form of Protestant Orthodoxy……………………
4. Mediating Theologies Build Bridges between Orthodoxy and Liberalism………………….
4a. Isaak August Dorner Bridges the Gap between Liberal and Orthodox Theologies………..
4b. Horace Bushnell Searches for a Progressive Orthodoxy…………………………………..
5. Neo-Orthodoxy/Dialectical/Kerygmatic Theology Revives the Reformation in a Modern Context
5.a. Karl Barth Drops a Bombshell on the Theologians’ Playground………………………….
5.b. Rudolf Bultmann Existentializes and Demythologizes Christianity………………………
5.c. Reinhold Niebuhr Rediscovers Original Sin and Develops Christian Realism……………
6. Chastened Liberal Theologies Renew and Revise the Dialogue with Modernity…………..
6.a. Paul Tillich Describes God as the Ground of Being, a “God above God”……………….
6.b. Process Theology Brings God Down to Earth…………………………………………….
7. Radical Theologies Envision a Religionless Christianity (includes Bonhoeffer)…………….
8. Theologians Look to the Future with Hope…………………………………………………
8.a. Jürgen Moltmann Renews Confidence in the Final Triumph of God……………………..
8.b. Wolfhart Pannenberg Revitalizes Rational Faith in History’s God……………………….
9. Liberation Theologies Protest Injustice and Oppression…………………………………….
10. Catholic Theologians Engage with Modernity……………………………………………..
10.a. Karl Rahner Finds God in Human Experience……………………………………………
10.b. Hans Küng Advocates a New Paradigm of Catholic Theology………………………….
10.c. Hans Urs von Balthasar Bases Christian Truth on Beauty……………………………….
11. Evangelical Theology Comes of Age and Wrestles with Modernity………………………
12. Postmodern Theologians Rebel against Modernity…………………………………………
12.a. Postliberal Theologians and Stanley Hauerwas Develop a Third Way in Theology……..
12.b. John Caputo Deconstructs Religion with the Kingdom of God………………………….
Conclusion………………………………………………………………

Book Description

Modernity has been an age of revolutions--political, scientific, industrial and philosophical. Consequently, it has also been an age of revolutions in theology, as Christians attempt to make sense of their faith in light of the cultural upheavals around them, what Walter Lippman once called the "acids of modernity." Modern theology is the result of this struggle to think responsibly about God within the modern cultural ethos. In this major revision and expansion of the classic 20th Century Theology (1992), co-authored with Stanley J. Grenz, Roger Olson widens the scope of the story to include a fuller account of modernity, more material on the nineteenth century and an engagement with postmodernity. More importantly, the entire narrative is now recast in terms of how theologians have accommodated or rejected the Enlightenment and scientific revolutions. With that question in mind, Olson guides us on the epic journey of modern theology, from the liberal "reconstruction" of theology that originated with Friedrich Schleiermacher to the postliberal and postmodern "deconstruction" of modern theology that continues today. The Journey of Modern Theology is vintage Olson: eminently readable, panoramic in scope, at once original and balanced, and marked throughout by a passionate concern for the church's faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This will no doubt become another standard text in historical theology.

Reviews

"In this highly readable and stimulating volume, Roger Olson navigates the nuances and complexities of modern theology with the aplomb of a seasoned scholar and the sensibility of an expert guide. The result is the best narrative account of the subject available today. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a better introduction to the sweep of modern theology being written anytime soon." (John R. Franke, Yellowstone Theological Institute)

"Having used for years and years 'Grenz and Olson' as a classroom resource, I am enthused about this rewrite which, indeed, is such a complete rewrite that it has made an already great text even better! What distinguishes this survey of contemporary theology from all others is not only Dr. Olson's insightful and balanced critique of views but also its integral narrative structure. Similar to its predecessor, this one is likely to become a standard resource for years to come." (Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, professor of theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, and docent of ecumenics, University of Helsinki)

"Originally intended as a revision of 20th-Century Theology, The Journey of Modern Theology makes a unique and independent contribution to the study of modern theology. Olson has focused upon the diverse reactions to modernity. The book includes a more extensive treatment of nineteenth-century theology, and it engages in detail with contemporary postliberal, postmodern and deconstructive endeavors. The volume exhibits the passion of Olson's commitments and the clarity of his writing. Both make the volume extremely useful and helpful for beginning students. Olson is clear in his advocacy of orthodox and neo-orthodox theological positions as he is in his criticism of liberal theories. He does so in a way that fosters and encourages a dialogue with diverse theological options." (Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Stillman Professor for Roman Catholic Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School)

"This is an exceptional achievement--the fruit of many years of diligent labor in the classroom and study. From Descartes to Hauerwas, and just about everyone in between, Roger Olson provides a travelogue that covers the many routes taken in the journey that is modern theology. Through learned and appealing descriptions of the landmarks along the way, Olson invites his readers to take up their own explorations of key theologians and movements. This is an engaging and readable survey, which will serve as an able guide for students of modern theology for many years to come." (David Lauber, associate professor of theology, Wheaton College)

Product Description
  • Hardcover: 690 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (December 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830840214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830840212
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