The Postfoundational Frame

hermeneutical turn - modern to postmodernThe DITB project is a postmodern story about navigating the treacherous waters between two polar extremes. It is like the Scylla and Charybdis of Homer’s Odyssey that stood as the gauntlet between which Odysseus had to sail in order to arrive safely home. The polar extremes we face are the Scylla of absolutism/positivism/foundationalism on one side, and the Charybdis of relativism/nihilism/deconstructivism on the other. It is my basic assumption that this dualism is a cause of much of our difficulty in the church today.

scylla and charybdisA dualism is when you find two polar opposite options to a single question that both have evidence for being correct. This is true in theology. Is Jesus God or human? Is it predestination or free will? Is reality physical or spiritual? Is God three or one? The answer to these questions seems to be yes but then common sense tells us that you cannot say yes to both options.

These dualisms are not found only in the musings of theologians. They are everywhere in society. Republicans vs. Democrats. Big Government vs. Free Enterprise. Conservatives vs. Liberals. American Military vs. Terrorists. I am right vs. you are wrong. The tensions between party lines are real and the way we navigate these tensions has global implications. So, this project is not merely a mental exercise or a sociological experiment, but is motivated by seeking God’s peace in the world.

This search for navigating the space between these dichotomies is what, I believe, has led me to Lutheran theology, especially as it is expressed in the ELCA. I have already noted that the DITB project is as much about my own theological odyssey as it is an academic exercise. I was raised in the predominantly dualistic world of conservative evangelicalism in which the theological imagination was constantly pitting one idea against another idea, seeking to prove one idea “correct” and the other “incorrect.” I continually noticed that, in almost every circumstance, there was always a “correctness” on both sides of these alleged dichotomies. My search to find reconciliation between these dichotomies is what began my odyssey. I found a helpful Evangelical voice in the writing of Stanley Grenz. His work gave me language that constructed a bridge that made it possible for me to enter into Lutheran theology and find the theological space in which the critical mind can dwell in the paradox of God.

The following sections will pay homage to Grenz from a neo-Lutheran perspective. I will utilize the framework created by Grenz and Franke to engage the work of two Lutheran theologians—Patrick Kiefert and Gary Simpson—and construct a postfoundational theological frame for the DITB project.

What is Postmodern?

A Postfoundational Theology

A Three-Way Conversation

A Three-Foci Expression

Hope in the Trinitarian Community

Use this Prezi to explore my bibliography, illustrations, and class notes pertaining to the discussion of how we think and how things have shifted in the twentieth century.

Epistemology Bibliography

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