The SBJT Forum: How May Evangelical Theology Transform Culture? -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 01:2 (Summer 1997)
Article: The SBJT Forum: How May Evangelical Theology Transform Culture?
Author: Anonymous

The SBJT Forum:
How May Evangelical Theology Transform Culture?

Editor’s Note: Readers should be aware of the Forum’s format. D. A. Carson, Carl F. H. Henry, C. Ben Mitchell, R. Douglas Geivett and Craig Blaising have been asked specific questions to which they have provided written responses. These writers are not responding to one another. The journal’s goal for the Forum is to provide significant thinkers’ views on topics of interest without requiring lengthy articles from these heavily-committed individuals. Their answers are presented in an order that hopefully makes the Forum read as much like a unified presentation as possible.

SBJT: Now that The Gagging of God has been published, do you have further thoughts as to how it could address theology and culture?

D. A. Carson1 : I am grateful to Dr. Paul House and his staff for including in this fascicle the opening chapter of my book The Gagging of God. What he has asked me to do in this Forum column is reflect a little on what has happened since its publication a little over a year ago. If I were finishing the manuscript today, what would I change?

I confess I would not alter the main line of my argument. But I would probably tweak the emphases here and there, along the following lines:

First, in the intervening two years or so since I sent the manuscript to the press, quite a lot of new literature on postmodernism has been published, and some of it is very important. If I could, doubtless I would interact with some of it. Perhaps two or three examples will prove helpful.

(a) In 1995, Johns Hopkins University Press published Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science. The authors, Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt, are accomplished scientists. They write out of a modernist epistemology, and they disavow Christian faith. What makes their book important, however, is its damning indictment of postmodern trends in the university world. They write well, they are utterly fearless, and sometimes painfully amusing. Thoughtful Christians will not want to align themselves with the modernist epistemology of Gross and Levitt— informed Christians should opt for neither a modernist nor a postmodernist epistemology, although there are some important things to learn from both— but there are few books more revealing of intellectual trends in our centers of learning.

(b) History is messy. Although Western cultural dynamism is deeply tied to what in The Gagging of God I call philosophical pluralism, inevitably there are holdouts, responses, and so forth. Since finishing the manuscript, I have come upon several very recent responses that deserve ...

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