Any theology that threatens to become a position more determinative than the Christian practice of prayer betrays its subject. And a few days before his own death, Jim McClendon called me for the last time to urge me to take a stronger stance in the last lecture. The Necessity of Witness Hauerwas has argued that we cannot reason our way to the existence of God or comprehend religion merely on the basis of its usefulness. Barth is a great witness to Jesus Christ and certainly the greatest theological witness the Protestant Church had in the last century. And I am a Christian theologian.
Covers show minor shelf wear. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. I should like to be able to attribute my recklessness to courage, but I do not have the appropriate fear to so name it. The Liberalism of Reinhold Niebuhr 5. The argument ends not by framing doctrines, but by warning us of the error, violence, suffering, and death that remain in this world, and it calls us, in imitation of God's life, to help heal this world and to work for its final redemption. As Aquinas puts it: Although we cannot know in what consists the essence of God, nevertheless in this science we make use of His effects, either of nature or of grace, in place of a definition, in regard to whatever is treated of in this science concerning God; even as in some philosophical sciences we demonstrate something about a cause from its effect, by taking the effect in place of a definition of the cause.
Now onto analysis: Surely, Hauerwas is on to something when he points to the innovation of Karl Barth in rejecting natural theology. Only the Church, Hauerwas insists, can secure a fully and finally responsible place to stand. I personally am not nearly sufficiently read in any of these authors to judge how well Hauerwas has characterized them and found it challenging to keep both the line of argument in mind as well as trying to keep straight both what Hauerwas was primarily attempting to say as well as the line of thought in the notes, made that much more difficult on a Kindle galley edition. Here Hauerwas moves a step beyond Barth, whose Reformed proclivities always made him shy of placing too much theological weight on the ethical performances of the faithful. Prior to that, he was a professor at the University of Notre Dame.
James made no claim to speak as a Christian; Niebuhr was ever the churchman. The Summa is, as Timothy L. Hauerwas's basic thesis is that Natural Theology is only intelligible as one branch of a Christological and Trinitarian revelation of who God is. The story is that ethics—theology—is about God. God and the Gifford Lectures 2.
Against this standard approach, Hauerwas insists that natural theology is a dogmatic discipline. But our recognition of the identity of the émigré must not blind us to the fact that he has migrated from one world to another. I am grateful to the Louisville Institute for making it possible for Martin Copenhaver, John McFadden, Dale Rosenberger, David Wood, James Gorman, and Carl Becker to read With the Grain of the Universe and to attend the last week of my lectures. The Trinity is not a further specification of a more determinative reality called god, because there is no more determinative reality than the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are Michael Quirk, Terry Tilley, Scott Davis, Frank Lentricchia, David Aers, Jim and William Buckley, Mark Nation, Bill Werpehowski, Joe Mangina, Jim Burtchaell, David Burrell, Ralph Wood, Rusty Reno, Hans Reinders, Bill Hart, Reinhard Hütter, Arne Rasmusson, Travis Kroeker, Sam Wells, Nicholas Adams, Rob McSwain, Charlie Reynolds, Bruce Marshall, Robert Jenson, John Bowlin, Fergus Kerr, Catherine Wallace, Russ Hittinger, Robert Richardson, Glen Stassen, Gary Dorrien, Tommy Langford, and Jim McClendon. Nor do I think that philosophy has no other purpose than to be a handmaid to theology. Hauerwas's basic thesis is that Natural Theology is only intelligible as one branch of a Christological and Trinitarian revelation of who God is.
But we can only assume these roles responsibly if we do so in the service of the truth. I am going to try to tell the theological story. It includes a new afterword that sets the book in contemporary context and responds to critics. Yet I assume that a Gifford lecturer is rightly held to say what he or she takes to be true. Or to use the Hauerwasian idiom, learning the Christian language trains us to speak truthfully about the world.
I finally finished this book. What we get instead is a discussion of three 20th century thinkers: William James, Reinhold Niebuhr and Karl Barth. Hauerwas follows Aquinas in believing that God cannot be known directly, but only from his works. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the prior written permission of the publisher. It includes a new afterword that sets the book in contemporary context and responds to critics. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
James asserts, but without evidence as Hauerwas notes , that ceremonial and communal religious practice arises from such individual experience. In his overview of the Gifford lecturers, Jaki treats most of the lecturers with respect. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University, Hauerwas writes with a welcome combination of verve and precision. Anyone broadly conversant with Christian theology. And I was only able to respond to the teachings of the Church because I had already learned from Aristotelianism both the nature of the mistakes involved in my earlier rejection of Christianity, and how to understand aright the relation of philosophical argument to theological inquiry.