Live to learn and you will learn to live. Portuguese proverb

Tags: theology

The Shack -- or: how the story of a meeting with God becomes a theology book

by Christoph Email

When I first opened William Paul Young's The Shack, I was fully aware of the controversy and discussions surrounding this new Christian best-seller. I had read some strong arguments for and against its depiction of God (and a lot of nit-picking, too). So I determined from the beginning not to read a theology book, but accept its form as a novel in order to avoid getting caught up in theological details and miss the main message (a concept that somehow sounds familiar from another major Christian work, if you know what I mean :-)). However, I quickly found out that this is impossible: The Shack is a theology book -- just in disguise. more »

Oh Lord, won't you buy me ...

by Christoph Email

Time.comáhas anáinteresting article on the relation between prosperity gospel and the economic crisis. Although their title blows it way out of proportions by suggesting that God might be to blame for the whole mess, the article is an interesting read wi… more »

Anselm and I -- what a lovely combination

by Christoph Email

Inspired by a post on tallskinnykiwi's site, I headed over to the QuizFarm and let myself be analyzed with the question "Which theologian are you?" I wasn't really surprised when Anselm of Canterbury turned up as the closest match. I've always been impressed with his writings, particularly Cur Deus Homo. While -- and here I send greetings to my emerging friends -- I do not necessarily think that justification and atonement are the only important features of the Gospel message, I still think they're the central ones and Anselm, with his satisfaction theory, hit the nail right on the head when he attempted to define the central purpose of the atonement.

Anyway, if you're interested, you can see all of my results below:

You scored as Anselm, Anselm is the outstanding theologian of the medieval period.He sees man's primary problem as having failed to render unto God what we owe him, so God becomes man in Christ and gives God what he is due. You should read 'Cur Deus Homo?'



John Calvin


Charles Finney


Martin Luther


Jonathan Edwards


Karl Barth


Friedrich Schleiermacher


Paul Tillich


J├╝rgen Moltmann




Which theologian are you?
created with
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Christocentrism as organizing principle

by Christoph Email

During my research for establishing the criteria for a truly Pentecostal approach to theology, I ran into one important element that I had so far neglected in my own developing model: early Pentecostalism organized its theological thinking around the fourfold (fivefold in some cases) perspective on Jesus Christ as savior, healer, baptizer, and coming king (Holiness-Pentecostals would add "sanctifier" as fifth element). This central framework constitutes the fundamental Pentecostal approach to the question of valid loci in systematic theology -- which should be retained, I think, in a new approach that takes into account our Pentecostal tradition. So Christocentrism becomes the organizing principle of Pentecostal dogmatics. Yet, as Frank D. Macchia has remarked in his excellent article on Pentecostal theology (New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, s.v. "Theology, Pentecostal"), this framework is not without its problems. With the focus on Christ comes the danger of "Christomonism", an over-emphasis on one slice of the whole while neglecting other important Biblical teachings (Macchia cites e.g. "the fatherhood of God, election, creation, Trinity, Scripture and church). Myself, I would claim that this potential problem is but a question of organization and association. While it is true that a Christocentric framework could become a problem if our perspective on Christ is reduced to only four different perspectives, it is equally true that even the other doctrines (like the ones Macchia suggests) can and should be seen in their relation to Jesus Christ, who is, after all, according to Hebrews, the final and supreme self-revelation of God. Thus, bibliology belongs to Christ, "the Word", and even the area of theology proper, with its questions about God, the Father, has to be seen in the light of Jesus' saying that "whoever sees me sees the Father." more »

I'm not a heretic. Are you?

by Christoph Email

Test for compliance to standard X or proposal Y are common-place in IT and I've gotten quite used to them. I just didn't know you could test yourself for standards compliance. Svensvensven has created a questionnaire on where you can verify your compatibility with the creed of Chalcedon, one of the fundamental documents of Christianity, writted in 451 CE. I was glad to see I'm not a heretic! :-) HT to Kyle of more »