Wednesday, December 15, 2021

"Speaking truthfully about God"

From an interesting essay about orthodox Trinitarianism:
.... A feature common to both liberal and evangelical systematic theology in recent years has been a pragmatic focus: Theology is valued not for what we learn from it about the being of God, but for how it helps us have better marriages, better ecclesiology, better political systems, and so on. Theological doctrines and systems must prove their usefulness to be accepted.

Theological pragmatism arises as we lose confidence in the possibility of speaking truthfully about God in himself. ....

I now realize that, in this modern sense, Nicene theology is gloriously useless. The purpose of ­theology is to speak truthfully about God, to purify our ideas of God so that we can enjoy him. It is to enable the rational worship of God, which is polluted by idols (1 John 5:21). In other words, theology has no pragmatic purpose in the way moderns think of it. A good theologian is not one who tries to imagine how theological statements might have some practical usefulness for human projects, but rather one who seeks to contemplate, and to bring others to contemplate, the beauty of God’s being for its own sake. (more)
"The Decline of Nicene Orthodoxy," First Things," January, 2022.

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