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'I knew that danger lay ahead, of course; but I did not expect to meet it in our own Shire. Can't a hobbit walk from the Water to the River in peace?' 'But it is not your own Shire', said Gildor. 'Others dwelt here before Hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when Hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot ever fence it out.'
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 122-123
The goal of the interpreter is not to seek to discern one conceptual unity within the book, or to reconstruct one consistent line of theological discourse throughout the dialogue, but rather to see how this literature was designed to function as a normative guide within a community of faith, which acknowledges its authority.
Brevard Childs, Intro. to OT as Scripture, p. 533
I don't believe that God is a fussy faultfinder in dealing with theological ideas. He who provides forgiveness for a sinful life will also surely be a generous judge of theological reflections. Even an orthodox theologian can be spiritually dead, while perhaps a heretic crawls on forbidden bypaths to sources of life.
Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, p. 37
'The writer must face the fact that ordinary lives are what most people live most of the time, and that the novel as a narration of the fantastic and the adventurous is really an escapist plot; that aesthetically the ordinary, the banal, is what you must deal with.'

John Updike BBC.com, January 27, 2009
...the knowledge of God consists not in frigid speculation, but carries worship along with it...
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk 1, ch 12
“The verbal explanation, as it takes us from one verbal expression to another, in a sense gets us no further.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Blue Book, p1
…theology..has no reason to exist other than to critically accompany the missio Dei.
David Bosch
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.
G.K. Chesterton
…theology..has no reason to exist other than to critically accompany the missio Dei.
David Bosch
...God, the Maker of the world, is manifested to us in Scripture, and his true character expounded, so as to save us from wandering up and down, as in a labyrinth, in search of some doubtful deity.
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk1, ch6
Jesus' preaching is in fact characterized by a large element of simple fact-telling, of simply telling people with authority what actually is.
Dale Bruner, The Christbook, p. 120
...all reasoning takes place within the context of some traditional mode of thought.
Alisdair MacIntyre, After Virture, p. 222
The church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning.
Emil Brunner
The definition of knowledge is not simply an affair of intelligence; it is an affair of the heart, in the biblical sense of heart as the center and source of the whole inner life in its full complex of thought, desire and moral decision.
John Courtney Murray, The Problem of God, p. 21
Dilthey worked '...to illuminate the difference between the structure of these sciences of meaning and the natural scientific explanation of events based upon the formulation of theoretical frameworks and the discovery of causal laws.
Georgia Warnke, 'Gadamer' p. 2

About the Webmaster

15th March 2013

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In the late 1980’s I was a college grad working with churches on an island called “La Isla del Tigre”.  My roommate and I had just finished explaining Christianity to a Honduran couple from one of the villages.  We were unprepared for their response.  “We have heard that before, but it never made a difference on this island.”   And with that comment, a passion was born..

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This passion was rooted in my studies in religion and sociology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.  Much of my course work had focused on modern Western critiques of Christianity.  The principled arguments of Feuerbach, Freud and Nietzsche were powerful.  I could not refute them.  But my experience of Christianity through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship on the campus kept me grounded and growing in my faith.  Though I could not justify it intellectually, I knew that the story of Christianity was true.  It was making a difference in so many people’s lives.

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This tension became clearer, not only in the response of the Honduran couple, but in experiences after that time in Southern African and the United States.  I struggled while at Fuller Seminary with a way to speak Christianity with intellectual integrity.  Given the TV evangelist scandals of the 80s, the genocides of the 1990s in the wake of the East African revival, and the child sex abuse scandals among Catholic Priests up to the present day the task would be a challenge.  As a pastor in Mozambique, South Carolina and Los Angeles I confronted an institutional Christianity that left so many stern, insecure and unloving Christians unchanged and while having a minimal impact upon the communities in which they found themselves.  As a father, I worked with my wife to  help our two sons develop a faith that is clearly expressed in their character and in their relationships with others.  Again and again that persistent question surfaced:  “What difference does Christianity make?”

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Wirkungsgeschichte is dedicated to an embodied response to that couple as well as to post-modern Western culture.  It says, “Christianity does make a difference.  Let me show you what I mean!”

 

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