Tag Archives: theology

A Postfoundational Theology

I believe there is a third way between the Scylla and Charybdis we face in the church today. It is a postfoundationalist theology for the missional church. The basis of the postfoundational theology is rooted in Keifert’s proposal that a reasonably adequate Christian theology is done in, with, under, against, and for the church. Kelsey explains how the modern theological school, following Schleiermacher, bifurcated practical theology from systematic theology. Systematic theology pursued the abstract, universal construct mentioned above, while practical theology trained the pastor to perform the technical duties of the civic function endemic to the office. Kelsey and Keifert, flowing from the stream of Hegel and Tillich, but moving beyond it, propose that God cannot be known directly, but only through the secondary phenomena of the particularities of the local congregation. Kelsey proposes that the theological task is a crossroads hamlet between the dialectical tension of the Athens tradition—inner spiritual development (Plato)—and the Berlin tradition—technical training, implementation and actualization (Aristotle). If one is to understand God truly, then one must investigate the concrete particularities of how the Spirit of God is drawing people together for worship and service in particular places in the world. [1] read more

Postfoundational Theology | A Three-Way Conversation

Beyond Foundationalism P194 (1)Grenz and Franke offer a helpful framework for exploring postfoundational theology. They frame it around a conversation and a focus.[1] The conversation is a three-way conversation between the Scripture, Tradition, and the Culture.[2] Here we are really talking about authority and meaning. Where is the basis for truth? Where is the authority? It does not lie on one solid foundation, but is in the ground of God, which cannot be ascertained directly. We can however, look through three frames to communicatively construct meaning. read more

Postfoundational Theology | A Three-Foci Expression

Beyond Foundationalism P194 (1)Grenz and Franke also talk about three distinctive foci that are important components of the missional, postfoundational church.

The first focus is the Trinitarian Structure of the church. The importance of the the social Trinity cannot be underemphasized here. It is only through the relationality of God’s three-in-oneness that the postfoundationalist theological conversation can exist. Without it, Kelsey and Keifert would remain constrained in the same historical reductionism that Hegel, Heideggar, and the Frankfurt school found itself. Simpson would also be trapped in Tillich’s correlational reductionism and the ultimate relativism that Habermas’ ethic perpetuates.[1] The Trinitarian God is at work in the world, calling the church to be gathered around the risen Jesus, to bring doxa to the Father. read more

Hope in the Trinitarian Community

Postfoundational theology is a story of hope. Hope has a future orientation. It invites us to look forward with anticipation and imagination. Proverbs tells us that, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). Spiritual formation in the missional church is a hopeful endeavor. The DITB project is one of a public prophetic imagination of hope in God’s preferred and promised future.[1] This is a countercultural move. Taylor suggests that the modern, buffered self has lost this hope.[2] The modern schism between fact/value, public/private, and science/faith has collapsed our public sense of identity to radical individualism, the loss of meaning and purpose, and the reduction of life to that of utilitarian transactions for the sole purpose of individual survival. The modern self is left in isolation and with no ultimate hope. read more