have you ever been *experienced*?
This book sounds really interesting. Submitted for your approval, a question:
What *does* it mean to live in an environment where "grace is not just a theological concept, but an experience: an environment where [the sacred] does not have to be proved, but recognized as deeply involved in the process of the world, its sufferings and its possibilities?"
so may we be,
God's Advocates: Christian Thinkers in Conversation
by Rupert Short
Gifts and fragments
A review by John Habgood
Popular contemporary attitudes towards theology include condescending dismissal on the one hand, and conservative religious intransigence on the other. Rupert Shortt sets out to provide a more balanced and intellectually demanding assessment. The fourteen discussions in "God's Advocates: Christian Thinkers in Conversation" cover a wide range, with the emphasis mainly on the philosophical, social and ethical aspects of theology, rather than on the Bible itself. Shortt is a perceptive questioner, and has obviously read widely in the works of the eighteen theologians with whom he has talked. The result is a book with serious academic content, yet structured in such a way as to be accessible to those who are unfamiliar with the issues. His summaries of the writings of his conversationalists are consistently clear and enlightening; theology emerges as a much more exciting, vigorous and relevant subject than its contemporary image might suggest.
Strikingly absent from most of the conversations is any direct appeal to authority, whether biblical or ecclesiastical. Rowan Williams, for instance, reflects on lives which pose the problem of goodness against seemingly overwhelming odds. What does it mean to live in an environment where grace is not just a theological concept, but an experience: an environment where God does not have to be proved, but recognized as deeply involved in the process of the world, its sufferings and its possibilities? Such an appeal to experience does not, of course, bypass the traditional sources
of faith. Williams was himself influenced by what he calls Karl Barth's "exuberant bloody-mindedness in stressing the sheer otherness of God in his self-revelation". But grace cannot finally be captured in conventional images and forms. It must be known at first hand, or not at all...
Full review, from the Times Literary Supplement, reprinted at Powell's