Tag: existentialism

Reading through Principles of Christian Theology part 13: Chapter 21

Series Index Principles of Christian Theology by John Macquarrie John Macquarrie’s Principles of Christian Theology does not have a conclusion in any formal sense; instead he ends the book with an exploration of Christian ethics in the existentialist framework that he’s set up through the first twenty chapters.  Here even more than before Macquarrie’s commitment…

Reading through Principles of Christian Theology part 11: Chapters 17-18

Series Index Principles of Christian Theology by John Macquarrie In retrospect, I should have anticipated that a theology that self-identifies as existentialist would be stronger in terms of the Christian life than on the contours of Christian confession.  When John Macquarrie deals with the Bible, with the person and work of Jesus, with the Holy…

Reading through Principles of Christian Theology, part 9: Chapters 14-15

Series Index Principles of Christian Theology by John Macquarrie Operation Spirit Having run through a theology of Christ and Christ’s work, Macquarrie turns to the Spirit in chapter 14.  Since he’s talked about the Father as the ineffable God and the Son as the expressive God, Macquarrie writes of the Spirit as Being drawing out…

Reading through Principles of Christian Theology part 7: Chapters 10-11

Series Index John Macquarrie, Principles of Christian Theology Being(s) Created When Principles of Christian Theology turns its attention to creation, the book’s earlier distinctions between categories really start to bear fruit.  Macquarrie’s earlier insistence that God does not name a being among beings but a sense that Being, that which lets-be, has a holiness to…

Reading Through Principles of Christian Theology part 1: Introduction

Series Index Principles of Christian Theology, Second Edition I imagine many English-reading philosophy students know John Macquarrie as the translator of Heidegger’s Being and Time.  I first came to know his work as Michial Farmer and I read through Heidegger together in the spring of 2009, the semester before we began The Christian Humanist Podcast. …

The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #141: The Christian Humanist Podcast

David Grubbs leads a discussion with Nathan Gilmour and Michial Farmer about what makes our podcast a particularly Christian endeavor. We also give our personal histories with the faith and with intellectualism and explain a few movements with which we associate–and don’t associate. Our intro music this week is a Vacation Bible School classic.

Christian Humanist Profiles 10: Kierkegaard’s Concept of Faith

Ever since the English-speaking world discovered the work of Søren Kierkegaard in the middle part of the last century, he has been an indispensable part of the Western philosophical and theological traditions. He is seen, variously, as a precursor to movements as diverse as existentialism, poststructuralism, evangelicalism, and neo-orthodoxy. Few people make it through higher…

Existentialism and Christianity? Existentialism Against Christianty?: A Review of Insurrection by Peter Rollins for SpeakEasy Bloggers

Insurrection: To Believe Is Human, To Doubt Divine. by Peter Rollins 185 pp.  Howard Books.  $16.00. In 2009 I started a journey into existentialism, a body of philosophy and literature that I’d heard of in my college days, largely skirted through graduate school, and only returned to because my friend Michial Farmer (you might know…

A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 7: The Draw

Thus far in this series, I haven’t really discussed any theologian who might be rightly considered an existentialist, as opposed to an influence or proto-existentialist. (The exception is Karl Barth, whom I’ve brought up several times and who is existentialist to the core.) Having, I think, demonstrated the importance of religious sources for early formulations…

A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 6: Apologetics

I grew up at the tail-end of the Evangelical Apologetics Explosion. Somewhat arbitrarily, I’m selecting as the apex of that movement the year 1999. (I use that date because of the publication of Josh McDowell’s New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, but that was also the year of Norman Geisler’s Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics and…

A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 5: Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal initially seems a rather odd figure to label as a Christian existentialist–or even as a forerunner to the movement. Other than his famous “wager” (about which I will say quite a bit more later), he is perhaps best known for a major contribution to mathematics: Pascal’s Triangle. (It’s apparently quite significant, but don’t…

A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 4: Augustine

As I mentioned last week, the academic dean of the secondary literature on existentialism, Walter Kaufmann, points to the Christian theologians St. Augustine and Blaise Pascal as early examples of existentialist thought. He does so in a rather unhelpful and patronizing way: If we look for anything remotely similar [to Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground] in…

A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 3: Hellenism and Hebraism

There’s a degree to which it’s legitimate to claim Judeo-Christian roots for almost all Western philosophies (including the scientism that seeks, in its more recent and ugly manifestations, to destroy religious faith altogether), but Existentialism has a special claim, I think. Most wide-scale histories of the movement include an early space for religious belief. Walter…

A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 2: My Kind of Atheist

It is not reasonable to expect everyone to share the same religious views, and since it can be difficult to see God’s hand in our violent and hate-filled universe, I don’t fault anyone for not believing in God. (My own reasons for believing in God are complicated, probably unsatisfying to people who live outside of…