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Observing a strange disappearance of doctrine within the church, Kevin Vanhoozer argues that there is no more urgent task for Christians today than to engage in living truthfully with others before God. He details how doctrine serves the church--the theater of the gospel--by directing individuals and congregations to participate in the drama of what God is doing to renew all things in Jesus Christ. Taking his cue from George Lindbeck and others who locate the criteria of Christian identity in Spirit-led church practices, Vanhoozer relocates the norm for Christian doctrine in the canonical practices, which, he argues, both provoke and preserve the integrity of the church's witness as prophetic and apostolic.
At the heart of Christianity lies a series of vividly striking events that together make up the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel - God's self-giving in Jesus Christ for humanity - is intrinsically dramatic, a matter of speech acts and deed words. Why is it, then, that Christian doctrine so often appears strikingly dull by way of contrast? And what happens to doctrine when those inside the church and without become suspicious of claims to know like God, or of truth claims in general? The Drama of Doctrine argues that there is no more urgent task in the church than to reflect on and engage in living truthfully with others before God. Doctrine serves the church as an aid to truthful living, and is a vital aspect of the church's public witness in and to the world. Several recent proposals, post liberal and Radical Orthodox among others, advocate a cultural-linguistic turn, reconceiving theology in terms of church practices, and in the process making ecclesiology into a virtual first theology. At the same time, other theologians have stressed the importance of performing the Scriptures. Combining these two emphases - theology as church practice and interpretation as performance - Va
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