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A Way Back to Faith: Marcus Borg Dies
Wolfhart Pannenberg (1928-2014)
U.S. Has Plunged the Cradle of Civilization into Disaster, While Its Oil-Based Empire Destroys the Earth's Climate
Hey Folks, Remember This: Racism is Evil resulting from Sin
A Strange New Beast: A Spectacular, Religious Politics Founded on Violence
The Tragedy of the Comic: Robin Williams
The Resistance Politics of Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus Defanged: An Angry Musing about the Church
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
A Global Public Theology and Civil Society
Jesus and Paul, Both Zealots, and the Origins of Christian Faith
A Liberation Spirituality for the Public Church
Jesus Versus the Republican Candidates
A True Public Theology: Grounded with the Crucified Peoples of History
Subversive Remembering for the Sake of the World: Ecclesia in Times of Downturn
Fundamentalism is Created by Modernism
The Cry of the Oppressed in America is being Successfully Organized by a Fascist Religious Right
The Good and the Bad in American Experience
The Power and the Glory: Giorgio Agamben on Economic Theology
Capitalism as Monstrous Religion
A Militant Public Theology for the Agonistic City
Sovereign Power, Bare Life and Oikonomia
The Foolish Death March of Cultural Capitalism
The Paradoxical Vision in Canadian Context
The Evangelical-Capitalist Resonance Machine
Has America Invented a False God?
The Crowd is Untruth: a Comparison of Kierkegaard and Girard
Key Document for a Protestant Public Theology
A Public Theology for the 21st Century: Domination or Community
Liberation Theology is Alive and Well
Fall of Berlin Wall Felt around the World
Why Fundamentalisms of All Kinds are Failing
Apophasis: The Breakdown of Speech about God
The Dangerous and Deepening Inferiority Complex of the Religious and Republican Right
Civil Courage and Public Responsibility
Primarily a Pastor: The Social Gospel of Walter Rauschenbusch
The Public Theology of Harry F. Ward
John Calvin Would Have Seen This Crisis Coming
Reinhold Niebuhr and the Prospects for Justice in America
Liberation Theology in the Wesleyan and Holiness Tradition
Fundamentalism: A Pathological Condition of Christianity
A Protestant Liberation Theology
Crossing the Divide: Luther, Feminism, and the Cross
Towards a Postmodern Theology of the Hem
Congregations as Communities of Interpretation
The Sickness Unto Death
Death of a Theocon: Richard John Neuhaus
Most Southern Baptist Pastors are not Real Protestants
Bible Interpretation: A Canon within the Canon
The Public Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr
Christ in Postmodern Perspective
Faith-Based Lunatics in the White House
God's Politics - A Call for Progressive Faith
Weak on Sanctification?
Luther's Mystical Theology
Union with Christ: The New Finnish Interpretation of Luther
How Could God Allow This Tsunami?
Jurgen Moltmann: The Theology of Hope
Query: Who is Doing Theological Interpretation of Current History?
Exocentricity: Human Openness to the World
Links for Study of Evangelicalism
The Christian Religious Right is Wrong
George W. Bush & the Unreligious Right
Confronting Christian Zionism
Wrestling with the Divine: God, Darwin and Evolution
Jesus Plus Nothing: The Political Right at Bible Study
Dominionist Theology Promotes American Theocracy
Theologians Under Hitler
Apocalyptic and Apophatic in David Tracy
Without Sovereignty, Without Being: Unconditionality, the Coming God and Derrida's Democracy to Come
Either/Or Or Both/And?
New Bonhoeffer Book Reviewed
Tim Lull Dies
Neoconservatism and Revivalist Theology
The Sin of Pride - Martin Marty on George W. Bush
The Temptation to Empire
Liberation or Oppression
History of Social Thinking of the Church
David Hollenback and the Common Good
War as Sacrifice
Has Liberation Theology Died?
Martin Luther King, Jr. as Public Theologian
When Bloch Pointed to the Cages Outside the Cathedral
Salvation for All? - Did God Create Hell?
Understanding Fundamentalism: Against Modernity
Republicans, Democrats and Public Theology
Soren Kierkegaard (1815-1855)
Justification of War and Terrorism
Martin Marty's Definition of Public Theology
Public Theology: An Open Concept
It is time to develop a clear Protestant Theology. Rather than there be a Lutheran theology, or Presbyterian or Methodist or Episcopal, the times demand that Protestants come together to think.
One reason this is so important is that the most prevalent public expression of Christian faith today, the religious right, must be characterized as an alien form of the historic Protestant tradition, a commercialized and Americanized form of religious nationalism. No longer should those who affirm their relation to Reformation theology allow that tradition to be so misused and abused by the religious right. This is discussed further in the article entitled: Most Southern Baptist Pastors are Not Real Protestants.
Another reason the theological task is important is that the ecumenical movement has stalled entirely. The desire for ecumenical relations is as strong as ever, but the institutional means by which ecumenism takes place have not been found adequate except on a global level. It is a thinking problem, a lanuage problem. And it is also a problem of uncertainty as the mainline denominations decline, or at least are perceived as declining by so many. It is time to rethink things, especially the doctrine of scripture, basic conceptual understandings of God and Jesus and Spirit, creation, redemption, and life in the power of the Spirit, each tradition offering the best of its wisdom for the future of Protestantism.
I think it will take both pastors and scholars to do this rethinking. Theology on the practical parish level and theology on the academic level are too separate, are talking with different languages. The theory-practice divide needs to be overcome, at least in some places. So this website wants to be a place where both pastors and scholars can come together for mutual enoouragement and support in the very important task these days of theological reflection.
We suggest the reading of the famous last chapter of Jurgen Moltmann's Theology of Hope (chapter 5). The whole book is available online here! Moltmann has been one of the theologians trying to articulate the meaning of the gospel in public life.
We also think it important for pastors to read theology. What they get in seminary is not enough. The world is changing too fast, each of us changes as we confront challenges in new places. We like the idea for pastors to consider themselves "theologians in residence" in their local congregations. Please suggest books to us you have found helpful.
In 1980 Robert N. Bellah writes this about "public theology" in his book Varieties of Civil Religion:
"Notions that America is God's country, and that American power in the world is identitical with morality and God's will, have not died even today. Fortunately, these ideas never shaped the normative documents of the American civil religion, nor have they characterized its greatest heroes - men like Jefferson, Lincoln, and Martin Luther King - but they have formed an important tradition of interpretation, one carried by nationalistic clergymen more often than by jingoistic politicians. The best antidote to this tendency toward archaic regression is the critical tradition that has characterized American political life from its beginning. This critical tradition has been expressed in what Martin Marty called a public theology and what Walter Lippmann called a public philosophy. A strong public theology opposed our more unjust wars, especially the Mexican-American, Spanish-American, and Vietnamese wars, demanded racial and social justice, and insisted on the fulfillment of our democratic promise in our economic as well as our political life." (from the Introduction, page xiii)
Since Bellah wrote those words we have seen the growth of the religious right which now has, indeed, become the major expression of Christianity in public life. This journal is highly critical of the religious right with its "Revivalist Theology" and seeks to publish materials to counter its influence in the world today.
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