Bonhoeffer Scholarship Come of Age

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 9.48.44 AM.jpgReview of Taking Hold of the Real: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Profound Worldliness of Christianity by Barry Harvey. Cascade Books, 2015.

This Review was Published in Cultural Encounters in 2017.

“Taking Hold of the Real” by Barry Harvey is a powerful book with an important message for Christians today. More than yet another monograph on Bonhoeffer, it offers a compelling analysis of the state of our Western society and the Church’s complicity in its ills. With Bonhoeffer’s help, Harvey seeks to describe an alternative way of being in the world that patterns itself after Christ’s being with and for the world. Harvey takes up Bonhoeffer’s concept of this-worldliness (the insistence that Christian existence is to be radically worldly in a christocentric sense) within the context of a world come of age. The world come of age is yet another term Bonhoeffer coined while in prison to describe the emergence of a modern world that had thrown off religion as an unnecessary garment as it encountered a new dawn of rationality and alleged maturity. How should Christians be Christians in such a world, Bonhoeffer wondered? Continue reading “Bonhoeffer Scholarship Come of Age”


Review of “Iconoclastic Theology: Gilles Deleuze and the Secretion of Atheism”


Review for Cultural Encounters of Iconoclastic Theology: Gilles Deleuze and the Secretion of Atheism by F. LeRon Shults. Edinburgh University Press, 2014. 232 pp. $24.03 hardcover. 

Iconoclastic Theology is an unusual book for this category as it attempts to apply the results of the study of the bio-cultural evolution of religion to the philosophy of atheist thinker Gilles Deleuze with the aim of producing an iconoclastic theology that relentlessly advocates a radical atheism. The book purports to be a theology rather than atheist philosophy, because “theology is simply too important to leave to theists” (187), says Shults, a former Evangelical theologian who has now left the Christian faith behind. The book follows a current trend in public discourse to its ultimate logic: the dissolution of god as a meaningful concept. Continue reading “Review of “Iconoclastic Theology: Gilles Deleuze and the Secretion of Atheism””

Review/Blurb “Between the World and Me”

25489625“Between the World and Me” is required reading for all! With his great mastery of language Ta-Nehisi Coates gives voice to the reality of racial oppression in America. He turns the poetic into sarcasm and biting analysis but never eradicates beauty from his prose as he talks about the love for his son, the admiration for his wife, and the irrepressible living hope for his people. His impressionistic style weaves a tapestry of images that blend his youth with the reality of survival in the street and integrate his maturation and intellectual development with the vast canon of black thought and intellectualism. Continue reading “Review/Blurb “Between the World and Me””


The Cross of Reality: A Personal Review

9781451488807h.jpgGaylon Barker’s book about the theology of the cross in Bonhoeffer “The Cross of Reality: Luther’s Theologia Crucis and Bonhoeffer’s Christology” deserves the highest praise. Although, I have to admit, it’s also been a pain in the ass until I read it. That is to say, this book was published at the very moment that I did my innovative discovery of the theology of the cross being the guiding motif in all of Bonhoeffer’s work. Continue reading “The Cross of Reality: A Personal Review”


“Christopraxis” – A Review

51RVn-JI19L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgAs a theologian researching the theology of the cross (theologia crucis) in Bonhoeffer, it was time for me to read Andy Root’s “Christopraxis, A Practical Theology of the Cross.” I’m not a practical theologian. Not by profession, that is. I do think of myself of a systematic theologian who is deeply interested in the practical, and transformational power of theology. But practical and systematic theology are two different disciplines that, though intersecting, have their own, method and rationality. In this review, then, I will not discuss the contribution of Root to the field of practical theology, simply because I’m not qualified to do so. I will, however, look at the integration of the theologia crucis into his discipline. Continue reading ““Christopraxis” – A Review”


“Longing for Running Water”: A Short Review

573095I enjoyed reading Ivone Gebara’s “Longing for Running Water.” This book advocates and explains the position of ecofeminism from a Latin American perspective. The main point of the book is that an entirely new way of thinking and doing theology is urgently needed in the face of the ecological destruction of our planet. The close connection between feminism and ecology consists in the fact that the concerns of both disciplines arise from the rampant effects of patriarchal thought patterns and behavior on both women and the ecosystem. If the patriarchy has been opposed to the well-being and flourishing of women, it is outright destructive for the earth. Ecofeminism proposes a radical new way of thinking, not as a mere alternative to established practices, but, because of the urgency of the matter, as the only possible way to overcome the ecological disaster that is looming. Continue reading ““Longing for Running Water”: A Short Review”


“Mapping Modern Theology”: A Review

Mapping Modern TheologyMapping Modern Theology is a fun book. I provides a different take on theology as it developed after the Enlightenment. Typically one will read a historical overview that takes the reader from movement to movement whereby differences and similarities between movements are highlighted. Another common approach consists of monographs that explicate the inner coherence and workings of a particular systematic theology. Continue reading ““Mapping Modern Theology”: A Review”


Review of “Race Matters” by Cornel West

512lQebfcDL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_As a foreign student in the United States my entry into the racism debate is recent. I had a psychological conversion 4 years ago when, through the experience of a black class mate, I became aware of my participation in white privilege even though I am not an American citizen. I have come to realize that the litmus test for any worldview or ethics, and especially any expression of Christian spirituality, is its stance on racism in the US and its willingness to make it the prime focus of action and reflection. Racism is not just one of the many issues the US is facing. It points to THE moral flaw of the US at its core and thus its challenge.

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Review of “The Future of Evangelical Theology” by Amos Yong

UnknownFrom the title “The Future of Evangelical Theology. Soundings from the Asian American Diaspora” it is evident that Amos Yong is seeking a renewal of Evangelical Theology. If this would be the sole purpose of the book his attempt would be partially successful and partially unsuccessful at providing the impetus for momentum. Reading the book, however, it becomes quite clear that Yong has a secondary aim. This is also evidenced in the subtitle. He seeks to call his fellow Asian American Evangelical theologians to retrieve their own Asian distinctiveness and locate it at the heart of their theologizing endeavor within an Evangelical context. Yong sets himself to this task with great persuasion and effectiveness.

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Demythologization or Remythologization?

Rudolf BultmannA little shout-out here to Rudolf Bultmann on the occasion of Easter. This theologian deserves much more attention. The bad rap he gets for his project of demythologization (if he is mentioned at all in conservative circles) is entirely unjustified. I’ve just been reading his “New Testament & Mythology and Other Basic Writings” and can only say that, while I don’t subscribe to Bultmann’s demythologization, I’m deeply impressed.

Continue reading “Demythologization or Remythologization?”