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June 03, 2010

Honest to God?


I just checked out Kevin Vanhoozer's new book from Laidlaw College's library, Remythologizing Theology: Divine Action, Passion, and Authorship (and if you just clicked that link, yes, it costs $130.99 US). Although I am already reading too many books right now, I couldn't resist starting another. The title alone captured me - and alone is worth an entire blog post, but I'll save that for another day. For now, I'll share this quote from the book's preface:

"Those who would be honest to God must strive to avoid both pride and sloth in the their God-talk. Theological pride overestimates the adequacy of human language and thought; theological sloth underestimates the importance of responding to the provocations of God's self-revelation. The one goes before destruction; the other pre-empts instruction. Yet it is hard to miss the recurring biblical theme that God wills to communicate and make himself known: 'The word of the Lord came to...'; 'the Lord said...'. Theology is ultimately irresponsible if it fails either to attend to what God says or to think about the nature of the one who addresses us." (xvi)

He goes on to describe the necessity of honest conversation as the crucible for meaningful God-talk.

"Christian pilgrims emerging from the valley of the shadow of deconstruction are more aware than ever of how one's situatedness can distort one's speech, regardless of one's sincerity...Self-inspection is nowhere near as effective, however, as exposing oneself to the rigors of honest conversation. The shortest route to dishonesty is that which avoids dialogue. Being honest to God ultimately requires humility and boldness, the antidotes to theological pride and theological sloth respectively and the necessary prerequisites for entering into constructive conversation." (xvi)

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Chris Darnell

Stunning stuff... needed those quotes a week ago for the Contemporary Biblical Criticism essay I finished on Sunday night... might recommend the library here at St Johns gets that book.

Tim Keel

Sorry, Chris. I've had the book since last week. If I had known, I would have started reading it earlier. ;-)



(I'm sorry if my excitement that you've returned to your blog overwhelms any comment I may have about the content of the post itself.)


I'm with moe (and I really enjoyed the content).

mark begemann

glad to see you back and definitely happy to see the subject matter. working through this book currently and loving it, even if some of it is beyond my comprehension. when reading the section(s) you pull from above, they instantly seemed quote-worthy, so i'm glad you did it. Vanhoozer is one of the few Reformed thinkers who has put in the legwork on postmodernism rather than dismissing it w/o proper treatment. i'd also highly recommend listening to his lecture from the Wheaton Theology Conference on Wright. different subject but again Vanhoozer bridges the gap between the Reformed model and more modern theological advancements.


wow. this sounds amazing.


Wow! I like those quotations very much. I have long striven to be utterly honest with God in my communication with Him, but I had never read anything about the same nor discussed it with anyone. These remarks help me to understand what has been going on, as I converse with my Father.

I am glad I found your blog. Keep writing - and posting. God bless you.


This sounds like an intriguing book. I'll have to check my local library for it since the price is a bit out of my budget.

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