MHT: Postmodern Critiques of Modern History

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on the appropriate approach to and method for historical theology. Postmodernism, while notoriously difficult to define and existing in a variety of forms, essentially involves an attempt to move beyond Modernism and the questioning of metanarratives and truth claims due to the constructed nature of humanContinue reading “MHT: Postmodern Critiques of Modern History”

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MHT: Modern Critiques of Modern History

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on the appropriate approach to and method for historical theology. The Modernist perspective on history is not without its critics. Herbert Butterfield noted the importance of engaging the complexities of the past on their own terms and of not presuming the assumptions of the present whereContinue reading “MHT: Modern Critiques of Modern History”

MHT: The Rise of Modern History

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on the appropriate approach to and method for historical theology. This was first great Modern shift in historical thinking, coming to recognize that human existence exists within changing space and time.[11] While this fact was first the product of Biblical and Humanistic scholarship, Enlightenment thinking soonContinue reading “MHT: The Rise of Modern History”

MHT: Medieval and Reformation History

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on the appropriate approach to and method for historical theology. In the medieval period, conceptions of the changelessness of the Church solidified through the works of Bernard of Clairvaux, the Venerable Bede, Dante, and Otto of Freising.[6] Rome—which was generally not thought of as “fallen” untilContinue reading “MHT: Medieval and Reformation History”

MHT: Pre-Modern Historical Consciousness

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on the appropriate approach to and method for historical theology. While labels are always problematic in some sense, for the sake of this analysis perspectives on history are designated as broadly pre-Modern, Modern, or Postmodern.[2] Admittedly, this schema privileges somewhat the Modern narrative of superiority overContinue reading “MHT: Pre-Modern Historical Consciousness”

Method and Historical Theology: Introduction

Long attentive to its past, Western civilization often fails to address questions concerning how to appropriately and accurately understand history. This is especially true in the realm of Church history and theology, where faith has often found itself cast as the reason for not engaging the inconvenient events of the past. Over the month orContinue reading “Method and Historical Theology: Introduction”

Book Review: God’s Problem (Ehrman)

In God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Questions—Why We Suffer (Harper One: New York, 2008), Bart D. Ehrman examines the various explanations for suffering presented in the text of the Christian Bible. Ehrman, a New Testament Textual Scholar and James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the UniversityContinue reading “Book Review: God’s Problem (Ehrman)”

Reflections on Mary: Theotokos

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on Mary and her role in Christian theology. I begin these reflections on the Marian topic with which I am most comfortable: calling Mary the “Mother of God” or (in the language of the early Church) the theotokos (God-bearer). There are several reasons for my affirmationContinue reading “Reflections on Mary: Theotokos”

Early Christian Soteriology

By the early fourth century, the Christianity had spread across the Roman world with surprising speed, tenacity, and relative uniformity of belief. While the early Church was by no means completely uniform in doctrine, belief, or practice, the vast majority of Christians professed what has become known as Christian Orthodoxy.[1] Heresies such as Docetism, Ebionism,Continue reading “Early Christian Soteriology”