Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Do you know what theology is?

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One of the most ironic statements I've seen on the net is this person with whom I have just had a run in. He was trying to take me to task for my opinions about miracles but found it necessary to do so in an insulting manner. This is not a message board. This blog is not here for Pissing contexts, so that one can say clever things and show how much brighter than the other fellow I am. That's not the atmosphere I want and I wont stand for it. One of the least insightful and most ironic things this person said is that theology is so easy of course Ihave a Ph.D. in an easy subject.

My Ph.D. is in history of idea, which can be very hard itself. But I doubt that this posturing,swaggering bully even knows what theology is. In fact I doubt that he's read any real philosophy because he's apparently scandelized by the idea that some actually still believe in miracles. I think a real philosopher in this day and age would have more exposure to different kinds of ideas.

I'm sure this swaggering bully has probably only heard of theology second hand and equates it with Jerry Fallwell.He's probably never even heard of Charles Hartshorne or Schubert Ogden or Paul Tillich. Theology is one of the hardest subjects but an ignorant skeptic wouldn't know that because they don't have the background in thinking subjects like liberal arts. All they know about hard is math, chemestry, which can very be brutal but are not the only hard subjects. "Hard" of course is a relative term, theology was never hard for me, but I'm sure it would be for said bully.

For one thing one must learn othe languages,usually a couple of dead and couple of lives ones.I had to larn to Greek and French and that was only because I changed to history of ideas. I would have had to learn German and French and Hebrew if I'd stayed in theology. on top of that you have to know history, not just any history but ancient and modern, that's a huge task in itself, and philosophy.

Theology is not always hard but it can be hard and it's always enlightening and important. But the real theology as I say is done by academics not by preacher men. Jerry Fallwell is not a theologian. Dr. Kennedy is not a Theologian, Dr. Criswell is not a Theologian.

Theology offers an indispincible critique of the modern world. It is the only alternative to scientific reductionism other than Thomas Kuhn (who is out of fashion) or Postmodernism, whose day is done and is no longer important. Theology will reamain the vital critique no matter what because faith will reamin. Faith is a vald and factual part of our human experince. I fay "factual" because it is part of us and that is a fact and it can't be denied. Science has proven in the last few decades that our very brains are designed to emmitt God vibes that alert us to the divine. It's absurd to think that having a critque of reductinosim would not be imrotant, as though any form of modern thought can be trusted to satnd on its own without becoming an ideology. All one need do is check out a few athesit sites to see how science has become an ideology.

Here is a site that shows the greatness and difficulty of theology, one of the greastest theologians and in fact one of the most brilliant minds of the 20thc century, .Has Urs Von Balthesar Von Balthesar was one of the greatest thinkers of the past century, he is not well known because he was a preist. He wrote a thousas books and spoke 20 languages. He was also a close freind of JPII.

Here's another guy I like quite a bit. He was a major member of the group called "the radical thoeologians" of the 60s. He's become more conservaitive in his old age. A liberal who argues for the ruesrruection, .Wolfheart Pannenberg

Please read these sites and tell me how easy theology is.


SingingOwl said...

That task will have to wait till I am more awake. Wow! ;-)

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

While I agree that neither Falwell, Kennedy, Criswell, etc. are theologians, I do have to take issue with your idea that theology is only done by academics. Academic theology is only as old as Medieval Universities and only became largely disconnected from the pastoral tasks of the Church in the late 19th C.
Origin, Augustine, the Cappadocians, all the Church Fathers--never held academic positions though some had the best education of their day.
Even when we get to the Reformers: Luther had a Th.D. and both Zwingli and Calvin had classical humanist educations, but all were working pastors.

We need a return to pastor-theologians, not as an alternative to those who serve in seminaries or universities, but as a complementary calling.

J.L. Hinman said...

I agree that Agustine and co where true theologians, so was Paul. Paul was the first Christian theologian. But would you want hypocraties to take you apendix? no one argues taht "how dare you say you have to go to medical school to be a doctor. Granny is a doctor!" But Hypocrates was a physician when all physicisans did was smear dung on people. Granny was a doctor in the hills where no one had a medical degree.

But Medicien and theology have come a long way.

Now I am not saying that there is no place for a layman to speak.i'm a layman in thoelogy I have only a Masters degree.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but as I recall you do NOT have a PH.D.

Care to explain?

J.L. Hinman said...

you refuring to this:

"One of the least insightful and most ironic things this person said is that theology is so easy of course Ihave a Ph.D. in an easy subject."

that's what the guy said to me. That was his mistake. I did not calm to have a Ph.D.I claim to be ABD on 10 years of doctroal work. He said I have a Ph.D.

Anonymous said...

No, I was talking about this;

"My Ph.D. is in history of idea, which can be very hard itself."

Looks like a pretty clear claim to a Ph.D. to me.

J.L. Hinman said...

I should feel like I have a Ph.D. I did everything required in the program except ahnd in the dissertation and I wrote most of that. It only required a couple of chapters and oral defense and it would be done.

The only reason I'm off now is my committee charman retired. I can go back, I didn't fail. I had a 4.0 for four years.

I met every requirement and learned everything they taught me. it's only a technicality, I should have one.

J.L. Hinman said...

I've come a lot closer to having a Ph.D. than you ever will. How dare you pesume to lecture me? I know more than you and you know I do. I do have Ph.D. de facto. Obviously I meant "the Ph.D I was working on!" clarly and obviously. But some pedantic fault finder professional fault finder who lives to point out the mistakes of others has to stick his little nose in are you mouser? are you some CCC drone, or smae sect web wanna bet whose ass I kicked in debate?

Ron_Popeel said...

"Science has proven in the last few decades that our very brains are designed to emmitt God vibes that alert us to the divine."

No. No it hasn't.

J.L. Hinman said...

yup sure has. See Andrew Newbur Newberg's book "why God wont Go Away."