3 Ways (Not) to Start Your Theology

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Does systematic theology have a future?

And if so, where should it begin?
And what does it matter?

Geoff Holsclaw and regular guest Scott Jones (because Fitch is big-timing it in Pasadena) discuss the three major critiques of systematic theology and then talk about three possible ways to begin theology and how we need them all. They end with the virtue of reading broadly in theology from the past, present, and even future (if only we had access to those books). (See below for the 3 critiques and 3 beginnings)

theologygonebadThis episode also marks the beginning of the #TheologyGoneBad contest with weekly winners qualifying for monthly prizes and a grand prize.  This week’s #TheologyGoneBad theme will be about “worship music”.  Learn how to enter here (or just to the 28:34 mark in the episode).


The 3 Critiques of Systematic Theology (from God, Sexuality, and the Self):

  1. Critique of Knowledge (or onto-theological critique): All human language and thought fail to adequately grasp God who is utterly beyond us. Therefore systematic theology is mere idol making.
  2. Critique of Power (or the hegemonizing critique): All knowledge is always a ruse of power, and therefore a manipulation and suppression of other voices. Systematic theology is only for the winners of history.
  3. Critique of the Body (of the feminist critique): Systematic theology is ordered around a male mode of thinking that forgets the body, especially the female body.


The 3 (roughly) ways to start theology:

  1. Truth/Doctrine/Revelation – Epistemology
  2. Love/Relationship/Community – Relationships and Desire
  3. Liberation/Redemption/Salvation – Sin/Oppression and Kingdom




If you are near Chicago, join us on Oct. 1st for the second annual Preaching Forum. Registration closes this Friday, Sept. 16th.



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