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May 17, 2008


Ben Myers

Hi Andy: "I still say one of the marks of good theology is that it is readable and on that score this book fails." Yes, but unlike some of the Radical Orthodoxy books, this one isn't unreadable because of the difficulty of the concepts, or the philosophical depth, etc -- unfortunately it's just not very well written, and one doesn't feel as though the authors have a very clear sense of what they're trying to do.


I haven't attempted to read any of this book yet, but it does strike me as topsy-turvy to try and create a Theology in this way. I would think the best thing to do is persue theology systematically, and let history judge whether what you did was start something new or not. Self-consciously setting out to do so, I think, especially without any clear direction, is a flaw.

andy goodliff

In the authors defence I think they feel they have a clear sense of direction, I'm not just sure I understand it, but I agree with your other point that declaring a new way of doing Theology is not the best way to do theology. I think as someone has suggested in the comments to Ben's review that there is something about funding lurking behind all this.


I wouldn't be terribly suprised if it had a little to do with funding (you and I both know it's a terribly underfunded department as it is!) but I think Davies has been moving in this direction since he came to King's (his inaugural lecture being an example). I suspect (and hope) that it's at least a mixture of conviction and need...


As with any start in theology, much will hang on what follows after the prolegomena. So we'll have to wait and see in this case. For a contrast with the 'launch a new movement' way of getting on in theology, one might consider John Webster and co. up here in Aberdeen who simply seem to work steadily away on dogmatic questions without much fuss.

Ben Myers

Yes, John Webster sets a wonderful example of theological modesty and humility. He has a much better chance of starting a real "movement" -- not because he's interested in "movements", but because he's interested in theology.

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