Synopsis: What really is Christianity? If all the religious packaging in which it is wrapped were removed, what would remain? These were Bonhoeffer's questions, and they must be ours today--even more urgently! For in many quarters Christianity is being so narrowly identified with some of its parts, cultural associations, and past ambitions that like all militant religion,Synopsis: What really is Christianity? If all the religious packaging in which it is wrapped were removed, what would remain? These were Bonhoeffer's questions, and they must be ours today--even more urgently! For in many quarters Christianity is being so narrowly identified with some of its parts, cultural associations, and past ambitions that like all militant religion, it represents a threat to the planetary future. We may no longer speak clearly of the essence of Christianity, as von Harnack and other nineteenth-century thinkers did; but perhaps we may still have a sufficiently shared sense of the kerygmatic core of this faith to be able, in the face of these misrepresentations of it, to say what Christianity is not. Endorsements: "Those who know the work of Hall will know what to expect in this book: wisdom that comes from long years of faithful discernment, pathos about foolish fickleness in the name of the gospel, and buoyancy because he trusts the God of the gospel. Readers who do not know his work may take this book as an access point. In his critique of idolatrous misconstruals of the faith, Hall is himself a forceful antidote to the dysfunction of our society and to the dismay of the church." --Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary "As one of this generation's most profound theological thinkers, Douglas John Hall reveals his magisterial grasp of the depth and complexity of the Christian tradition. His elegance [is] matched only by profound understanding of human longing in his presentation of the God of steadfast and loving kindness. He is a master craftsman whose building blocks are the broad themes of systematic theology, which he brings together with his legendary stylish and grace-filled writing." --Patricia G. Kirkpatrick, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, McGill University Author Biography: Douglas John Hall is Emeritus Professor of Christian Theology in McGill University, Montreal. He is the author of twenty-five volumes, including two recent offerings from Cascade Books--The Messenger: Friendship, Faith, and Finding One's Way (2011); and Waiting for Gospel: An Appeal to the Dispirited Remnants of Protestant "Establishment" (2012)....
|Title||:||What Christianity Is Not: An Exercise in 'Negative' Theology|
|Number of Pages||:||175 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
What Christianity Is Not: An Exercise in 'Negative' Theology Reviews
In what theologian Douglas John Hall calls his final book, Hall engages in apophatic or negative theology. Rather than trying to offer a positive listing of essential beliefs (kataphatic theology), he shares six theological ideas that don't define Christianity. They may play a role, but they don't define it. Since I've been asked to review the book for the Christian Century I'll not say more, except this -- if you're a Christian you need to read this book.
Absolutely superb, although I was ready to dislike him for being a Protestant who was simply anti-institutional. He isn't and has a good conclusion to describe that part of his thought.He starts off using apophatic and kataphatic -- I hate that kind of Greek usage used too much. He of course spins off a tradition which is strongly Catholic but I do not think he admits it or he pays no attention but ultimately after saying that Christianity is not a Culture-Religion, not a Religion of the Book, not Doctrine, not a System of Morality, not the Church not "the Truth," he sound much like Chesterton, very paradoxical.On occasion, he bothered me. He does not want to have the Church as the body of Christ -- too incarnational and here he gets bible bookish, his argument is that in Colossians 1,18, Jesus is spoken of as head of the church. He does not advert to 1 Cor where you are the members, one body, many parts. He does not like the over-incarnational aspects.But very thoughtful indeed.And on p. 132, he uses the notion of person, which is ultimately Latin and Greek, after having pounded the notion of a mis-development with Constantinian theology.
This exercise in negative theology, which Hall says is his last book, serves as a powerful reminder of the danger of making Christianity what it is not. I am an unabashed fan of Hall's work. Reading him has, I hope, made me a more thoughtful Christian.