To Know and Love God: Method for Theology


For beginners and advanced students alike, it deals with the nature of theology and presents a method for doing theology whose goal is both knowledge and wisdom. A volume in the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series.

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To Know and Love God: Method for Theology

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For beginners and advanced students alike, it deals with the nature of theology and presents a method for doing theology whose goal is both knowledge and wisdom. A volume in the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xv
Preface xix
Introduction: Evangelical Patterns in Theology xxiii
Chapter 1 Concepts of Theology 33
I. Historical Perspectives
A. Patristic Beginnings
B. Medieval Modifications
C. Reformation and Post-Reformation Developments
II. Contemporary Options
A. Shapers of Contemporary Theologizing
B. Current Trends in Theologizing
C. Traditional Protestant Perspectives
III. Context and Content Revisited
A. Plotting the Options
B. The Contextual Pole
C. The Kerygmatic Pole
IV. Conclusion
Chapter 2 Scripture and the Principle of Authority 59
I. The Principle of Authority
A. Authority in the Evangelical Tradition
B. Authority as Testimony
C. The Burden of Evangelical Hermeneutics
II. Three Objections to the Authority Principle
A. The Abusive Nature of Appeals to Authority
B. The Circularity of Appeals to Authority
C. The Irrationality of Appeals to Authority
III. Authorizing Theology
A. Confirmation
B. Principlizing
IV. Conclusion
Chapter 3 Theology in Cultural Context 99
I. Theology in the Newly Globalized Situation
A. Culture and Globalization
B. Praxis and the Emergence of Contextualization
C. Hermeneutical Roots of Contextualization
II. Evangelical Contextualization
A. A Decode/Encode Model of Contextualization
B. A Dialogical Model for Evangelical Contextualization
III. A Case Study: Contextualization and Multiculturalism
A. The Promise and Peril of Multiculturalism
B. Theology and Cultural Diversity
IV. Conclusion
Chapter 4 Diverse Perspectives and Theological Knowledge 133
I. Perspectivalism
A. The Concept of Perspectivalism
B. The Scope of a Perspective
C. Perspectivalism as a Feature of Deconstructive Postmodernism
II. The Inadequacy of Perspectivalism
A. Different Kinds of Relativism
B. A Critique of Perspectivalism
III. Perspectivalism and Foundationalism
A. Foundationalism
B. Alternatives to Foundationalism
C. Soft Foundationalism
IV. Conclusion
Chapter 5 Unity in the Theological Disciplines 165
I. The Fourfold Curriculum
A. The Emergence of the Theological Disciplines
B. The Disciplines Within Doctrinal Studies
II. Fragmentation in Theology
A. The Legitimacy of the Distinction of Disciplines
B. The Possibility of the Unity of the Disciplines
III. Retrieving the Unity of the Theological Disciplines
A. Fusing Horizons
B. Systematic Theology and the Historical Disciplines
C. Systematic Theology and Practical Theology
IV. Conclusion
Chapter 6 Theology in the Academic World 195
I. Theology in the Religious Academic
A. The Values of the Academy
B. Theology and Religious Studies
II. Theology as Wisdom and Science
A. Theology as Sapientia
B. Theology as Scientia
C. Objectivity in Theology
III. Conclusion
Chapter 7 The Spiritual Purposes of Theology 221
I. Theology and Orthodoxy
II. Integrating Theology as Science and as Wisdom
A. Engagement
B. Discovery and Testing
C. Integration
D. Communication
III. Theology and the Experience of True Community
A. The Concept of Community
B. The Theological Grounding of Community
C. Life in Community
IV. Conclusion
Chapter 8 Theology and the Sciences 259
I. The Rise of Science and Its Challenge to Theology
A. Science as Rational Ideal
B. Science as Cultural Authority
II. Modernist Pictures of the Science and Theology Relation
A. Science and Theology in Mortal Combat
B. Science and Theology in Isolated Compartments
C. Science and Theology as Complementary Perspectives
III. New Views of Science in the Contemporary Milieu
IV. Science and Theology in Dialogue
A. Science Speaks to Theology
B. Theology Speaks to the Sciences
V. Conclusion
Chapter 9 Theology and Philosophy 295
I. Philosophy and Reason
A. Four Senses of 'Philosophy'
B. Three Senses of 'Reason'
C. Method and Content
D. The Structure of a Worldview
II. Presuppositions and Evidence in Theology
A. The Power of Concepts
B. Presuppositions in a Noetic Structure
C. Evidence and Theological Conviction
D. Faith-Learning Integration
III. Conclusion
Chapter 10 Christian Theology and the World Religions 319
I. Clarifying the Challenges of Religious Pluralism
A. Religious Pluralism and Religious Variety
B. The Pluralism, Inclusivism, Exclusivism Continuum
C. Alethic and Soteriological Categories
II. Pluralism, Realism, and Evangelical Theology
A. The Pluralist Challenge
B. John Hick's Realist Religious Pluralism
C. Gordon Kaufman's Nonrealist Religious Pluralism
III. Evangelical Theology and the World's Religions
A. The Inference of the Pluralism Challenge
B. Implications for Tolerance
IV. Conclusion
Chapter 11 Reality, Truth, and Language 353
I. Truth
A. Truth and Knowledge
B. The Bearers of Truth
II. Alternatives to Truth as Correspondence
A. Denials of the Correspondence Theory
B. Replacements: Alternative Answers to the Metaphysical Project
C. Reductions: Answers to the Justification Project
III. Reference
A. Poststructuralism and Deconstruction
B. The Legacy of Wittgenstein
C. A Minimalist Account of Correspondence
IV. Conclusion
Chapter 12 Theological Language and Spiritual Life 385
I. Theological Analogy
A. Thomas's Question
B. Thomas's Account of Analogy
C. Univocity Revisited
II. Contemporary Perspectives
A. Univocity and Literality
B. Symbol, Narrative, and Metaphor
C. The Problems with Panmetaphoricism
III. Religious Language and Speech Acts
IV. Conclusion
Conclusion: The Future of Evangelical Theology 419
Notes 425
Scripture Index 456
General Index 458
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