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I have noticed since participating on this site that most of the music that is appreciated is that which is made by "secular" artists. I, of course, have no problem with this. I am learning to discern music, movies and television better because of this site. I am simply wondering if you guys have any positive or negative feedback about the "Christian music industry." For example, take southern gospel music. One of the BIGGEST problems I have with southern gospel (SoGo) is that it, like most other forms of Christian music, is not only one dimensional (there is so much more for Christians to talk about) but that it is one dimensional in the sense of speaking about one narrow view of the atonement. That is, that a "legal view" of the atonement is the tone of SoGo. Can SoGo be reformed? How should it be reformed? What would it look like? Would it cease to exist if it is reformed to fit a more post-modern view of reality?

Also, isn't Shania Twain's music simply pop with a fiddle? He who has ears to hear...

Hit me!

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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Alan,

I agree with you on the business side of the Christian music industry. I guess you could say that evangelicals are using "worldly" (consumer) means to cater to evangelicals? But what about the message of SoGo? Can't the themes be changed? I mean, it drives me nuts sometimes that SoGo talks all about the bloody sacrifice of Christ and the pain that he went through. Some of it seems real off to me (the suffering servant motifs speak more of alienation and rejection than they do physical pain). Its as if the legal metaphor is THE ONLY metaphor that the Bible speaks about in the world of SoGo. Just drives me bonkers! ](*,) It seems as though the southern culture is sometimes outta step with the rest of evangelicaldom.

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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These days, I pay very little attention to the "Christian music industry," and consider most of it a complete waste of time (or worse). I'm not really concerned at all about the form of the music. There's great "SoGo" and there's bad electronica.

Sums up my views exactly. I find the concsiously dirivative nature of most CCM to be the most annoying aspect (other than that in this town, CCM seems to mean smiley face/ or weepy sanctimony set to a lite pop format. never was my style at all)

The whole experience makes me think of Jesus and the money-changers at the temple. No one should make their living off of the church (except those who work for the church). God's people should not be reduced to a market, which is what is has become, not to mention a voting block.

But this is a market economy. If the birds running the show hadn't found this niche market, someone would have (and I certainly wish that someone would, anyway). Nature abhores a vacuum and so do markets.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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But what about the message of SoGo? Can't the themes be changed? I mean, it drives me nuts sometimes that SoGo talks all about the bloody sacrifice of Christ and the pain that he went through. Some of it seems real off to me (the suffering servant motifs speak more of alienation and rejection than they do physical pain). Its as if the legal metaphor is THE ONLY metaphor that the Bible speaks about in the world of SoGo. Just drives me bonkers! ](*,) It seems as though the southern culture is sometimes outta step with the rest of evangelicaldom.

I travel to the south a lot. At least in North Carolina, SoGo, as you call it, has its place, but is not ubiquitous. What you are asking for is the changing of a very rigid and precise music form. Narrow standards, specific elements, declining market base. it's like asking for more humor in Kabuki. Or how about adding female voices to the classic quartet? Some genres are the structure that they exhibit. How will SoGo distinguish itself from "Barbershop" sound (and I don't mean the movie)?

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I travel to the south a lot. At least in North Carolina, SoGo, as you call it, has its place, but is not ubiquitous. What you are asking for is the changing of a very rigid and precise music form. Narrow standards, specific elements, declining market base. it's like asking for more humor in Kabuki. Or how about adding female voices to the classic quartet? Some genres are the structure that they exhibit. How will SoGo distinguish itself from "Barbershop" sound (and I don't mean the movie)?

Agreed. :wink: However, there is such a style of music known as "Young Country" which has broaden the appeal to a fan base that is not normally country. I'm wonder'n if SoGo (as I've heard some singers and fans call it) can have more themes than the "bloody human sacrifice that an angry God demanded to be paid to set the record straight" one user posted image , without losing it's base. What say ye?

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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Well, it is a common theme in many hymns and also gospel songs (in the hymn singing tradition). SoGo acts do sing some other songs that are not explicitly as you describe, don't they? what do those fans you mention say about this? OTOH, one of my alltime fave country songs is "Countin' Flowers" by the Statler Brothers, of all people. Country music has often welcomed crossover from this genre. I wonder if most acts would be willing to cross over though? and I wonder how tough it would be for their fan base to support such change even as you ask for.

Sorry, but I can't get behind young country. Most of the acts targetting this niche remind me of all that pop music was about in the '70's that turned me to jazz and away from pop and rock.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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One of the BIGGEST problems I have with southern gospel (SoGo) is ... that it is one dimensional in the sense of speaking about one narrow view of the atonement. That is, that a "legal view" of the atonement is the tone of SoGo. Can SoGo be reformed? How should it be reformed? What would it look like? Would it cease to exist if it is reformed to fit a more post-modern view of reality?

Perhaps SoGo artists sing about the atonement that way because that's what they believe about the atonement. It's hard to use "postmodern" and "reform" in the same sentence if you don't happen to believe that postmodernism can offer any significant theological improvements.

1. What alternate view of the atonement would you suggest that SoGo artists present?

2. How are you going to persuade them that they're wrong about the atonement and you're right? (particularly since postmodernism tends to make "wrong" and "right" rather fuzzy...)

3. Perhaps what you need to do is get a bad suit and a worse haircut, find at least 3 other postmodernists who like to harmonize, and start your own postmodern Southern gospel group. Would your genre then be known as PoMoSoGo?

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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mrmando wrote:

: 1. What alternate view of the atonement would you suggest that SoGo

: artists present?

Click here for one non-postmodern option.

One of the reasons I have found Orthodoxy at least somewhat appealing since long before I met my girlfriend is precisely the fact that it seems to get the atonement 'right', as compared to the western churches' emphasis on legalities and punishments and so forth.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Yes, I recall that very interesting thread, but I should really like to hear from BBCanada about this one...

Almost all bluegrass groups do some gospel music, BTW, but of course they're not all believers. I highly recommend Laurie Lewis' "Winter's Grace" CD if BBCanada is looking for "postmodern" spirituality with a (neo-)traditional sound. It's more of a "solstice album" than a "Christmas album" if you get my drift.

Southern gospel, on the other hand, is a genre that's focused on conservatism in every sense of the word. It preserves a style of music that was popular several decades ago, and it doesn't seem to have much to do with any kind of innovation, be it musical, sartorial, lyrical, political or theological. So the idea that the genre would benefit from some kind of postmodern "reform" strikes me as antithetical to what Southern gospel is all about.

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Dudes, dudettes and all God's creatures of good will...I come to you in the peace and fellowship of the Holy Sp....OK...'nuff 'o dat! biggrin.gif Sorry I didn't get back to this thread. Somehow I didn't get any notifications in my e-mail! GOT to be the anti-christ!

First off. No. 3

3. Perhaps what you need to do is get a bad suit and a worse haircut, find at least 3 other postmodernists who like to harmonize, and start your own postmodern Southern gospel group. Would your genre then be known as PoMoSoGo?

3dbiggrin3.gif

And now the rest.

One of the BIGGEST problems I have with southern gospel (SoGo) is ... that it is one dimensional in the sense of speaking about one narrow view of the atonement. That is, that a "legal view" of the atonement is the tone of SoGo. Can SoGo be reformed? How should it be reformed? What would it look like? Would it cease to exist if it is reformed to fit a more post-modern view of reality?

Perhaps SoGo artists sing about the atonement that way because that's what they believe about the atonement. It's hard to use "postmodern" and "reform" in the same sentence if you don't happen to believe that postmodernism can offer any significant theological improvements.

1. What alternate view of the atonement would you suggest that SoGo artists present?

2. How are you going to persuade them that they're wrong about the atonement and you're right? (particularly since postmodernism tends to make "wrong" and "right" rather fuzzy...)

An alternative view of the atonement that I think that SoGo artists could present would be one that is more relationally oriented. One that would work from a "shame" based (which is a more eastern and middle eastern in which the stories of the Bible are embedded) or "alienation" based category. Legal categories were good for their time i.e. B.B. Warfield's foundationalism, but are no longer appropriate today.

Pertaining to number 2. I don't think they are "wrong." There is much to be said for the legal category of the atonement. It can still retain a place for apologetical purposes (though I wouldn't limit it to that). But C.S. Lewis spoke about the atonement as being mysterious. So I wouldn't want to fit it all into one category.

I would say continue with the same style but with more relationally base lyrics.

One of the reasons I have found Orthodoxy at least somewhat appealing since long before I met my girlfriend is precisely the fact that it seems to get the atonement 'right', as compared to the western churches' emphasis on legalities and punishments and so forth.

Exactly!

Southern gospel, on the other hand, is a genre that's focused on conservatism in every sense of the word. It preserves a style of music that was popular several decades ago, and it doesn't seem to have much to do with any kind of innovation, be it musical, sartorial, lyrical, political or theological. So the idea that the genre would benefit from some kind of postmodern "reform" strikes me as antithetical to what Southern gospel is all about.

Well of course this is the crux of the issue. Can Southern Gospel be "reformed" to speak relationally instead of legally? I personally try to move from a "hermeneutic of charity" in all areas. Of course, this includes fundamentalism. Especially in it's stand against modernism and all that is religious. However, at the same time fundamentalism (and the South) have ALWAYS been playing "catch-up with the times" in almost every area.

http://www.americanwasteland.com/landsubmission.html

Now, to link to Peter's non-postmodern option.

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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As this continues to develop, I guess I don't understand what your obsession with gospel music is. You are really caught up in this while complaining about the subject matter of the songs. They don't always only sing of the atonement. Here I thought you were complaining about only singing of the atonement and were wishing for other theological themes. Have you listened to Matt Watroba's "Folks Like Us" on Saturdays on WDET?

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Rich,

Again, I try to approach many issues with a hermeneutic of charity. I see Christian Music as an attempt to "take back" music for God. This is why Larry Norman sang, "Why should the devil have all the good music?" Its an attempt, albeit probably a feeble attempt, much the same way we serve God in most other areas of our lives.

I suppose if what we want is for Christians to make good music this would include what the theme's reflect. While I agree with you that SoGo doesn't simply reflect a "bloody sacrifice that appeases an angry God" it is mostly found in this particular genre of music and I am wondering if that can be reformed.

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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I took a quick scan through the "East vs. West Views of Christ's Passion."

It seems to me that in understanding the Passion we need to take it within the context of the Old Testament. Briefly, at the Last Supper, Jesus views his own death, in terms borrowed from the history of Israel of deliverance and sees an inaugral event of renewal. Suffering in this context, again, far from appeasing an angry God is seen not in terms of "divine punishment" or in some sort of masochistic fashion (sang about so much in SoGo) but in context of "this wicked and adulterous generation."

Questions.

1. Why do we act as if Jesus was the only person to be given death in such a cruel and horrific manner? Many people died like this. What's so big about Jesus being one of them? Should the horror be not that Jesus was one of these people but rather that people could do this to one another? I'm afraid people will be thinking more about poor, poor Jesus than the all-too-PRESENT human sin that made a thing like crucifixion arise in the first place.

2. Doesn't this devalue the Incarnation? By and large, the Incarnation is a LOT MORE existentially wrenching of an idea than any earthly punishment. TRY to imagine going from complete unity, love, and life in a blissful, unimaginably intimate and intense environment of love

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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I guess the divinity schools at Emory and Duke need to start marketing their services to Southern Gospel songwriters so those folks can acquire a broader view of the atonement. (Those are the only two "liberal" seminaries I can think of that are located in the South.) I'm postmodern enough, I guess, to see that all of the approaches mentioned so far have some value as well as some potential weaknesses. As a songwriter myself I can tell you that the images of blood, suffering and death really pack an emotional wallop, and it's hard to resist the temptation to use them.

I'm wondering if you know of any songs in any other styles of Christian music that you would consider to be close to what you are proposing for Southern Gospel. Or if you've tried writing any such songs yourself.

The best brief assessment of "what's wrong with Christian music" that I've read was a statement attributed to David Wilcox. He observed that radio programming is all about choosing songs that will keep people from changing the channel, thereby collecting an audience for one's advertisers. In Christian radio, this means that nothing "unsafe," challenging or unfamiliar will ever get programmed on the radio, so if you're not prepared to do those sorts of songs, you're better off not trying to get into Christian music in the first place. And that's why David Wilcox never tried to get into Christian music.

In today's environment of tightly controlled, test-marketed, Clear Channel-style Christian radio programming, this observation is truer than ever. (In my brief sojourn as a Christian DJ in the mid-'80s, we had no "playlist" and I could pretty much play what I wanted. Ah, if only I'd known how lucky I was.)

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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As a songwriter myself I can tell you that the images of blood, suffering and death really pack an emotional wallop, and it's hard to resist the temptation to use them.

Along with the music.

I'm wondering if you know of any songs in any other styles of Christian music that you would consider to be close to what you are proposing for Southern Gospel. Or if you've tried writing any such songs yourself.

Well I'm not a songwriter. I have sang in church most of my life and I have three years of vocal lessons with more to come hopefully. I would say that as far as other songs, I like some of Michael English's stuff. Especially from his "Freedom" album. There is a song by Tommy Simms titled "The Wind" which was previously recorded by Garth Brooks titled "Driftin' Away."

"The Wind"

With all of my heart, I know I could love you

But, with all of my soul, I'm driftin away

With all of my mind, I know you could save me from myself

And anything else,

With all of my strength, I wanna reach out for you

With every breath, I call out your name

With every step, I just wanna turn around and say

Baby make it okay

But I'm so afraid

that you've forgiven me one too many times

And I'm so afraid

to give my heart again, just to have a change of mind

And I'm not quite sure that you can trust me

And I would hate to have you find me again

Baby, like the wind, driftin away

It blows and nobody knows where it's going to

(I'm driftin away)

It blows and nobody know what it's gonna do

With all of my heart, I know I disappointed you

And although I'm real sorry

I don't know how to save this time

But, if I would lose you

I know I would go completely out of my mind

I'm running out of time

And I'm so afraid that you've forgiven me one too many times

And I'm so afraid to give my heart again just to have a change of mind

And I'm not quite sure that you can trust me

And I would hate to have you find me again

Baby, like the wind, driftin away

It blow and nobody knows where it's going to

(Driftin away)

It blows and nobody knows what it's gonna do

(You see my heart at night)

At night you can hear it cry as the tear drops fall from heaven's eyes

(Fallin down)

And somehow you know it's true, these tears that fall are fallin for you

(Fallin for you)

It blows and nobody knows where's it going to

(Fallin down)

It blows and nobody knows what it's gonna do

At night you can hear it cry as the tear drops fall from heaven's eyes

And somehow you know it's true these tears that fall are for you

(Repeat)

There are some others, this is but one that comes to mind.

The best brief assessment of "what's wrong with Christian music" that I've read was a statement attributed to David Wilcox. He observed that radio programming is all about choosing songs that will keep people from changing the channel, thereby collecting an audience for one's advertisers. In Christian radio, this means that nothing "unsafe," challenging or unfamiliar will ever get programmed on the radio, so if you're not prepared to do those sorts of songs, you're better off not trying to get into Christian music in the first place. And that's why David Wilcox never tried to get into Christian music.

Michael Card complained about this when he wanted to write about suicide. The producers would not have it.

In today's environment of tightly controlled, test-marketed, Clear Channel-style Christian radio programming, this observation is truer than ever. (In my brief sojourn as a Christian DJ in the mid-'80s, we had no "playlist" and I could pretty much play what I wanted. Ah, if only I'd known how lucky I was.)

You WERE lucky. Let me say that with Southern Gospel? I'm not suggesting that we do away completely with the legalisitic category. After all it is a part of our Christian tradition (Protestant). Just like many hymns, though they fail speak "good theology," I would not necessarily want to do away with them completely. We need to be careful in moving away from our traditional moorings. Especially in an individualistic North America.

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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Listening to "Folks Like Us" today, I heard an album that you must hear. The Dixie Humminbirds' "Diamond Jubilee" celebrating their 75th ann. Levon Helm, Dr. John, and others either sit in for a few songs or accompany all cuts. The two I heard were definitely gospel songs bridging traditional black gospel and southern gospel in their typical style, BUT with wonderful "hillbilly jazz" accompanyment (my term). Little atonement directly. great humorous traditional faith based lyrics, also as is their style.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Legal categories were good for their time i.e. B.B. Warfield's foundationalism, but are no longer appropriate today.

I must note that I never find this argument persuasive by itself -- I mean the argument that doctrine must change merely to keep up with the times. Not that doctrine shouldn't change when it is found to be erroneous or inadequate, but there must be a compelling reason for change other than keeping up with the Joneses.

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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I'm not suggesting that we "keep up with the Joneses" in the sense of watering down the gospel. I'm sure you would not say that about the early church and their attempt to contextualize the gospel in their own terms and time. It does, however, bring up a good question about why we choose the controlling metaphors that we do for our theology. That is, what criteria do we use for making the legal category or relational category the primary metaphor? It also brings up the question of certainty. If doctrine can be judged to be erroneous or inadequate (in which case certainty goes out the window), then why not think that this is possible with primary metaphors?

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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Forgot sum'n. The nature of theology is that it is not static. It is formulated within the context of a specific point in history in the community of faith which seeks to live it out. Our essential commitment to Christ does not change, but rather the context in which in which our confession is lived out is in a state of constant flux. The church seeks to articulate it's confession in the appropriate thought forms of the culture in which it is situated. Theological reflection always draws upon thought forms that are historically conditioned. That means that the categories it uses are culturally and historically conditioned. That means that it is not speaking from a "neutral" vantage point. That means that theological reflection will never be completed this side of the eschaton because humans, as culture, change. That means that we could look at theology as a "Pilgrim Theology" (Grenz) That means that the contextual nature of theology is "second-nature." That means that theology is an interpretive enterprise. That means doctrinal and theological formulations are human reflections on the stories, symbols and practices of the Christian community. That means that theological reflection is subserviant to the narrative and teachings of canonical scripture and must be held tentatively. biggrin.gif

By the way. That means user posted image, that the foundationalism of B.B. Warfield? It is draws upon the whole enlightenment rationalistic method and the legalistic category is simply done within that framework or paradigm. Again, this is contextual for guys like B.B. Warfield and may not be appropriate today.

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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