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May 25, 2005



Hi Andy,

Mark Greer pointed me to your blog, I have to say I'm very impressed, especially as you're about the only blogger I've come across who has read Gunton :)


andy goodliff

Thanks Sven. Having studied under Colin for my BA theology, i found it hard to be shaped by his theology. It still strange to think he won't write anything more. He is definitely worth reading.


Yeah he was a top writer. I read 'Actuality of the Atonement' a while back, it's a great book and I intend to re-read it once I've finished what I'm doing now.

Paul M. Martin

To touch on one aspect of this theology, the point of maintaining the Holy Spirit as being within yet distinct from the world seems pretty clearly for the purpose of maintaining the basic theistic premise that God is an Entity existing in ontological distinction from the rest of reality.

Haven't read Augustine for a long time, but seems to me he's one of those Christians that tend toward the contemplative/experiential rather than doctrinal end of the spectrum. Their descriptions of experiences of unity with God I think have always made most Christians, and most Christian theologians, uncomfortable, mainly because they are misunderstood.

Frankly I usually find theology tendentious, pretending to arrive at its conclusions dispassionately when they are generally foregone.

andy goodliff

I disagree with you on Augustine. Yes, his Confessions is as the title suggests confessional and contemplative, but his other works like De Trinitate are more dogmatic and theological.

The kind of attitude you take towards theology is widely held view, but I think completely mistaken and any good theologian I don't think pretends to arrive at its conclusions - many good theologians wrestle with the difficulties of christian doctrine, and the likes of karl barth have been very creative in their theology. To ignore theology I think often can leave us with worshipping a god made in our own image.

Paul M. Martin

Oh, come on. It can't be that widely held. Most people don't even know how to spell tendentious.

I may have simply overdosed on theology in div school. A. North Whitehead... AUGH... To me, it just seemed that he never examined his premises, then took off for hundreds and hundreds of pages of metaphysical minutia that made God, and for that matter, every nook and cranny of all reality, into an image of his overheated brain. (Sorry to Whitehead fans. Again, I was being force fed theology faster than God ever intended.)

Actually, I have read a bit of theology that I liked. I'm thinking of Paul Tillich's, The Courage To Be - and much less his Systematics. What I think impressed me about Courage is that is stuck closer to real human experience rather than going off on long speculative metaphysical limbs that, to my mind, tend to grow weaker and less compelling the further they stray from direct experience and become exercises in logic and word play.

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