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The Nature of Confession: Evangelicals & Postliberals in Conversation [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   298
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.94" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.73"
Weight:   1.01 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830818693  
EAN  9780830818693  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Voted one of Christianity Today's 1997 Books of the Year!Ours is an age of profound cultural change, in which new categories and alliances are bound to arise. In theology, the liberal strategy has lost support, having degenerated into mere anthropology and succumbed to the political agendas of its proponents. And while the evangelical movement appears to be gaining ground, it is simultaneously suffering an acute identity crisis.Currently the postliberal (or "Yale school") movement has found a strong resonance in some mainline denominational circles. Its emphasis on the biblical text and Jesus Christ--through which all other reality needs to be construed--may turn out to be the most significant theological realignment in more than a century.Are we witnessing a paradigm shift? Can evangelicals and postliberals make common confession? Might they even combine forces to reinvigorate the church--its theology and its mission--for a new era? In this groundbreaking book, creative evangelical and postliberal thinkers explore exactly how they agree and disagree along a range of issues, from epistemology and theological method to doctrinal concerns.Evangelical contributors include such significant theologians as Alister McGrath and Gabriel Fackre. Postliberal contributors include George Lindbeck, a "founding father" of postliberalism, and George Hunsinger, the former student and major interpreter of the late Hans Frei, another "founder" of postliberalism.In The Nature of Confession we are presented with the beginnings of a robust discussion of real importance to both the academy and the church.

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More About George A. Lindbeck

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lindbeck is Pitkin Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology at Yale University.

George A. Lindbeck has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Radical Traditions (Paperback)

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism   [2524  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Important discussion...  Jul 22, 2002
First, let me begin by saying that if you know nothing about foundationalism after this book you definitely will. If you already know what it is the repetition is almost mind-numbing. Anyway, this book is a conversation between evangelicals and postliberals that seeks areas of convergence as well as possible conflicts. Lindbeck notes, however, that it might not be easy to compare the two since postliberalism is like a formal research plan and evangelicalism is identified with communities, movements, and institutions. That said, the two share in the stress on Jesus Christ as Savior and the Bible serving as a norm for both thought and practice. Part of the postliberal `research' program emphasizes antifoundationalism and intratextuality. The themes evangelicals appeared to be most concerned about were metaphysical realism, ontological truth, and fideism. Postliberals, in general, are not necessarily antirealistic or obscurantist and they attempt to defuse these claims.
On the evangelical side I enjoyed the articles by McGrath (doctrinal truth), Freeman (spiritual exegesis), and Knight (religious affections with emphasis on Edwards and Wesley). With respect to the postliberals I found the following aspects interesting. Hensley explains that Lindbeck can be read as a metaphysical realist and also makes clear his nuanced view of truth. Kenneson argues that postliberalism is not fideistic or relativistic but has the means for rational testing and change through ad hoc apologetics. Hunsinger explains Hans Frei's ad hoc minimalism in regards to Jesus' historicity in the Gospels. Finally, Lindbeck urges a return to classical hermeneutics with a priority on practice and uses the doctrine of the atonement as an example. Despite the recurrence of discussions on foundationalism, this book is very informative and entertaining. I find it telling that at the end Lindbeck states that if the postliberal research plan has any hope of surviving that it will probably do so under the guidance of Evangelicals.
A Good Sampling of the Debate  Mar 22, 2001
This is a collection of essays presented in lecture form at the 1995 Wheaton Theology Conference concerning prospects for a consensus between evangelicals and postliberals. It largely succeeds in outlining the areas of agreement between the two. The differences, though, are still substantial.

Postliberals reject inerrancy, a correspondence theory of truth, and the concept of propositional revelation. Largely dependent upon the writings of Karl Barth, its founders (Frei and Lindbeck) stress the narrative quality of the Biblical account and (borrowing from Wittgenstein) describe the church as a language game where doctrines function as grammatical rules.

Because of their dependence on the cultural-linguistic model of theology, they tend to be anti-realist in their metaphysics. The Bible is a narrative that serves as a way to organize, relate to, and explain an otherwise inchoate reality.

Postliberals are antifoundationalist and therefore see systematic apologetics as a misguided task. They prefer an `ad hoc' apologetic, not bound by an adherence to method, but engaging in a dialogue with the unbeliever. They stress the internal coherence of the Biblical narrative, and the need for theology to be done within the believing community.

The essays are uneven in quality, frustratingly repetitious at times, but generally well-written and helpful. The best of the bunch are Hensley on Postliberalism and Antirealism, Clapp on Evangelicalism and Foundationalism, and Kenneson on Postliberal Theology and the Possibility of Change.
Does saying it loud enough long enough make it true ?  Jul 18, 1999
The panacea for today is "conversation". It's almost like the haunting caricature of the intransigent fundamentalist Bob Jones Sr. becoming an actual reality: "What did the evangelical say to the liberal"? I'll call you a Christian if you'll call me a scholar." How long will it take before we Evangelicals realize the sufficiency of our orthodox theological heritage? True enough their is always room for improvement, we are not God, but until we have culled more than the surface of our own theological\philosophical resources and have done so standing with historical confessional integrity; conversation proves little more than concession and honest critical anamnesis aqueicense. Is it not obvious that the hue and cry of antifoundationalism assumes its own self defeating foundations and to retort with accusations of logical imperialism nothing more than the same? Where is the virtue of intellectual honesty? As long as all parties are agreed, for instance - the reality of entering such dialogue in the first place, logic is just grand (not to mention - academic grandstanding), but the minute monologue replaces dialogue foul is invoked. As if human fallibility and/or limitation in some areas can not be overcome through tacit knowledge (Michael Polanyi) or even fortify the truth inadvertently in others; not to mention ontological intrinsicallity. This is not to say that Christians can not glean from the contributions of our interlocutors. However, it does mean that to initially and voluntarily fail to exhaust our efforts to retain historic understandings (possibly considering the interest of historic "others" before our own, "hmmm what a novel idea")- especially of those we know unambiguously were of our own - is to be disingenuous on the one hand and slothful on the other. Our onto-theological resources are as expansive as creation and as the inescapable "foundation" this "Word of God" speaks loudest. Does saying it loud enough long enough really make it True? Contrary to the musings of the so - called postliberals, their own lives betray their thoughts, let it not be so for those who, even as the Apostle Paul, defiantly answer with an affirmative!
Centrism in the Christian Church  Dec 12, 1997
Somewhere between the fundamentalists on the right and the politically correct on the left are a large body very bright people who agree about much. This book is the record of a conversation between Evangelical and Postliberal theologians that took place at Billy Graham's alma mater, Wheaton College. Both agree that the world of the Bible is the primary world which helps us understand the world in which we all must live. The biblical narrative ultimately shapes us and the way in which we view the world around us.

For the poltically correct the view seems to be that the world is the primary commitment and the biblical narrative is to be examined in light of our political and social commitments. The late Hans Frei of Yale University called this the "great reversal". This book cuts new territory in which mainline Protestants and Evangelical Protestants are speaking together for the first time. It is a breath of sweet heavenly air.


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