Notes on Systematic Theology by Robert Jenson

Lutheran – but really Reformed at heart – theologian Robert Jenson begins his systematic theology with a prolegomena, much different than those used to reading systematics would expect. Jenson feels no lead to offer a lengthy defense of theology as a discourse, science, or method. He simply states that theology is what the church does ...

All the Small Things | Luke 13:10-30

A Sense of Urgency | Luke 10:1-24

Oprahcostal: The Holy Spirit in the Age of the “Spiritual But Not Religious”

Reading Notes Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (part 8, Thomas)

With Thomas Aquinas we have the enfolding of the Aristotelean system into the Augustinian. We have the enfolding of a system that holds that justice and rationality requiring education in virtue into system that posits that the demands of justice are in some way self-evident to all human beings, even in a fallen state and that our ...

Reading Notes Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (part 7, Augustine)

For Aristotle justice belonged to the polis. For Augustine, justice was for all. This is largely because of the differences in the way their respective traditions conceived of boundaries. For Aristotle the city-state was the basic political unit. It set the boundaries of justice. For Augustine the Christian “the earth is the Lord’s and everything ...

Reading Notes Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (part 6, Aristotle)

Aristotelean justice requires the polis and a citizenry educated in virtue. The Aristotelean project is a search for absolute justice embodied in the ideal polis, and progress toward this ideal is made in particular polises with their relative standards of justice. Given the importance of a citizenry educated in virtue in the just ordering of ...

Reading Notes of Which Justice? Whose Rationality? by Alasdair MacIntyre (part 5)

Plato advocated for the goods of excellence, but defining those goods and what they looked like in practice was a job he left unfinished. It was his student Aristotle who was to complete Plato’s project and give the goods of excellence there classic articulation. MacIntyre summarizes his work thus far, Two dominant images of human ...

Reading Notes on Theology and Social Theory by John Milbank (part 4)

Milbank now turns from the French stream of sociology culminating in Durkheim to the German stream culminating in Max Weber –  he who gave us the myth of the “Protestant work ethic.” For Durkheim social structures explained everything, the Germans sought to bring individual acting subjects back into the picture. For Weber the question was ...

Reading Notes of Which Justice? Whose Rationality? by Alasdair MacIntyre (part 4)

For Thucydides the goods of effectiveness always trump the goods of excellence. Excellence will only carry the day insofar as the powerful decide that it is in their interest to do so toward effective ends. It is against this stance that the mature Plato argues. For Plato there can be no justice or rationality apart ...