Why DesperateTheologian

Why call yourself DesperateTheologian?

I get asked from time to time where the name DesperateTheologian came from. To understand one needs to know something of my theological journey. I first fell in love with theology as an undergraduate religion major at Wayland Baptist University (WBU). Unlike most it seemed I really did enjoy reading and studying anything theological. At this point though, I understood theology as mainly propositional in nature. This is to say that theology to me was simply about what we can say about God. Propositional theology can be defined, in short, all about what we can know about God. It is statements about God that we can be sure are true. This is in essence the approach to faith that I grew up with in church. I was taught a basic biblicist view that the Bible is the ‘inerrant’ Word of God with the primary purpose to give us timeless, propositional truth that we are to believe and that govern how we are to live and act. The biblicist view simply says, “we believe what the Bible tells us.” Its sort of a God said it and that settles it approach. So I did not hear a lot about ‘theology’ per se growing up because, as I was told, “we just believe what the Bible says, not man made formulations!” But especially as a newly ‘surrendered’ minister I was instructed in doctrines and taught that these were taken straight from the Bible.

Truth be told though, everyone has some sort of theology. Where I grew up though, it just was not called ‘theology’ but ‘doctrine’ and it basically reflected a propositional approach to faith. When I first went to WBU I had been warned by some (by some very well meaning folks) to be careful at college and not let all that I learned there ruin my faith (in a propositional sort of way that is). However, those concerned really had nothing to worry about. Like I said, I fell in love with theology, especially systematic theology. I liked that systematic theology gave me a way articulating the ‘deep’ things of the faith. I actually found that this kind of impressed people and I also liked that systematic theology was well – systematic. Every doctrine was put in its proper place. It was nice, neat, and well packaged. And the packaged part did not bother me. If someone had a question – well, I had an answer. So theology for me as an undergrad was about what we could know and say about God as well having all the right answers, and the Bible was the inerrant source of what we needed to know in this regard.

Now, some may read this and think to themselves, “What’s wrong with this? Having answers is not bad and we do need to know about God, right?” And to this I would answer a definite affirmative. But a solely propositional theology simply does not do justice to who God is. God is always so much bigger than any single proposition or even a list of propositions that we can come up with and systematize. Now, I need to be clear here. It is true that I inherited a basically propositional view of faith but I would be remiss not to add that those who brought me up in the faith also had a deep faith and loved God deeply and taught me to do the same. And at Wayland none of my professors ever taught me to simply be content with a solely propositionalist faith. I am thankful that they taught me the importance and depth of our Baptist heritage and the importance of historical theology. And I am thankful that they emphasized to me that it was not enough to know about God if one does not come to actually know God, Himself (though these things did not have their full impact on me as an undergrad).

My wife, C.C. (I call her Christie), and I moved to Ft. Worth and I entered Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary the fall after graduating from WBU with my degree in religion and what I felt was a firm grasp on theology. However, before long my Christie and I would be faced with something that would shake the seemingly firm grasp I had on theology. During my first semester of seminary Christie and I lost our first child (Jordan Taylor) to miscarriage. Up until this time the most devastating thing that had happened in my life was the divorce of my parents when I was nine years old. Their divorce understandably became a significant framing and paradigmatic event for my life and I had undergone a long process of finding forgiveness for my father. But I found the depth of the grief over the loss of Jordan Taylor to be like nothing I had ever imagined. I was not aware that a person could actually grieve so deeply (nor was I aware that it could actually go even deeper!). In the midst of our loss and heartache, to be honest, my propositionalist theology, the things I felt I knew about God really did very little to relieve my grief. And the propositions of other Christians we knew at school and church did little to help them minister to us in the midst of our grief.

Most other Christians we discovered did not want to talk about our experience…our grief. Those that did just said that we should trust that God knows best and that He is in sovereign control of all things. Some even suggested that Christie and I were lacking in faith because we were so shaken over the loss of our babies. It was as if we should just be able to say to ourselves, in propositional fashion, “God is sovereign” and everything would just be o.k. It was in this context that we moved back to Plainview during the summer of 2000, after only two years at SWBTS. Having already lost our first baby in 1998 we had already tasted the grief that comes as a result and had some time to work through the grief (if only partially). We had also been joyfully blessed with the birth our daughter, Damaris, in October of 1999. While we still grieved the loss of JT we moved back to Plainview with a great deal of optimism and hope for the future. However, though we still believe on this side of things this was what God wanted us to do; our time in Plainview turned out to be way harder than we had ever thought as our grief was compounded in 2001 and 2003 as we lost two more babies (Micah Jayden and Noah Avery) to miscarriage.

The grief from the loss of our babies will always be with us (it can be no other way for a parent that has lost a child). I don’t think there is a sense that we will ever ‘get over it’ nor do I think we need too. But it was during this time that the grief was the deepest and most profound. This time served as an extended ‘dark night of the soul’ for us both (complicating things even more, we also had a couple of devastating failed adoptions, struggled to plant a church amidst opposition in a very traditionalist area, all the while I was finishing up my first Masters degree at WBU). In the midst of my grief I must be honest that my propositions did not stand up. This is not to say that they were no longer true. That God is sovereign remains true. That God is holy remains true. That Christ died for my sins remains true. Well, you get the point. But my grief remained…our grief remained. Sure I could comprehend the propositions I was supposed to believe in my head, but it was not my head that hurt…it was my heart. It was here that I became, well…desperate.

It was in the midst of this journey through doubt and grief that I sensed within me this growing desperation. To be honest this sense of desperation is hard to pin down and describe. The best way I can describe it is that I was desperate in the same way that a suffocating or drowning person is desperate for air or in the same way that a starving person is desperate for food. The only thing was, at the time, in the midst and depth of the grief and doubt, I had a very hard time specifying what I was desperate for (I give a list below but it’s important to note that this list is the product of subsequent reflection over time). What I did know was that my formerly propositionalist theology was not really much of a help. It was also in the depths of this dark night that my desperation grew stronger than before and the propositions made even less sense. In short, I became a desperate theologian.

  • I was desperate for something to help me make it though this grief and help my wife make it through – because there did not seem to be any going around it.
  • I was desperate for a theology that could hold my doubt, depression, questions, and unbelief. [As a note here, our struggle with desperation and doubt made a lot of people noticeably uncomfortable. Many I suspect simply didn’t know what to say and as a result kept their distance rather than endure an awkward, difficult silence. However, I feel that we must relieve ourselves of the pressure of always having the right thing to say…especially when there is no right thing to say. I believe that in pursuit of a propositionalist theology many evangelicals have neglected developing a theology of presence – a theology that can equip us to sit in silence, if need be, with those that suffer and/or doubt. While most seemed ill equipped to do this with us we were blessed with a few friends who were willing to do the incredibly hard thing of giving us their presence (even in awkward silence) without pat clichés. In addition, I believe that most Christians have a hard time with doubt because they too readily assume that it is the opposite of faith, or what we might call ‘unfaith.’ But doubt, questioning, and unbelief are not the same thing as unfaith nor do they necessarily lead to unfaith. Doubt is not the opposite of faith but rather a part of the faith journey. In the midst of doubt faith is all one has to hold on too.]
  • I was desperate for others, anyone, to be willing to walk with is in our grief.
  • I was desperate for a theology that has as much to do with spirituality as academics.
  • I was desperate for a theology that was connected to real life, one that could bridge the gap between the academy and the church.
  • I was desperate for a theology that could enable the body of Christ to be a genuine incarnational community.
  • I was desperate for something to keep us in church when we felt so isolated and when so few seemed equipped to respond with anything that did not sound like a cliché to someone in profound grief.
  • I was desperate for a theology that went beyond the propositional; however, at least in the beginning, I did not know what such a theology would look like.
  • I was desperate for a theology that could make sense of our loss, of our grief, a theology that could make room for our experience, a theology that would enable me/us to keep believing.
  • But I was also desperate for a theology that could transcend what we were experiencing, for something that was true and real despite our pain; that could hold on to us because we could not hold on by ourselves.

(re)Discovering the Triune God

My theological journey took me right through the middle of desperation and doubt theologically. There was no going around, up, over, or under it…only through it! I know it seems counterintuitive but instead of driving me away from theological study, my doubt and desperation drove me into more theological study. In a very real sense, in the deconstruction (to put it in postmodern terms) of my propositional/systematic form of theology I had to do theology out of the context of my experience with the dark night and desperation: in essence ‘desperation theology.’ Really, the study of theology was how I coped; it was in essence a form of therapy for me. And it was in this journey that I came to totally redefine my approach to theology in response to my points of desperation (listed just above). During this time I read, read, and I read some more. Along the way I rediscovered the richness of the church fathers (whom up until this point I had just glanced over) as well as more contemporary theologians. In the process the deconstruction of my propositionalist theology did not occasion the wholesale destruction of my faith (as many seemed to fear), but rather the reconstruction and deepening of my faith and theology.

In the context of my grief and desperation, I see it as an act of divine providence then that I came across Stanley Grenz, who remains my favorite theologian. It is through Grenz that I discovered a theology, and a theological method, that is grounded in and centered around the triune God as the Divine Community. For too long God as Trinity had been diminished in systematic theology to the point of being reduced to the equivalent of a propositional doctrinal safeguard (much like even what happened with Christology and Pneumatology). For some theologians the Trinity only appears as little more than a footnote while still other modern systematics have a section on the Trinity but which seemingly has no interaction or impact on the other doctrinal sections. In other words, while these theologians believe in the Trinity we can not properly call their theologies “trinitarian.” This seeming absence of the Trinity certainly was evident in my experience growing up in church. I can not remember hearing even one sermon, nor any substantial reflection at all on the Trinitarian nature of God, or any discussion of the importance of Trinity for ecclesiology or pastoral practice, or people made in the triune image of God. It seems that the modern church has suffered as much from the absence of the Trinity as did modern systematic theology!

There are many reasons for this I think. One is that while God doesn’t really fit into anyone’s propositional box in general, the very idea of God as Trinity totally obliterates our propositions as ever being adequate to hold who God is. I found this to be ever so true. While in the beginning my propositional faith could not stand up in the presence of my experience with grief and doubt, when I (re)discovered God as Trinity I found that propositions in general were way too small in the face of the triune God. Second, I think that in the rush to propositionalize everything many Christians fail to accept the mystery of the triune God. I mean, there’s not much mystery to a powerpoint or a “5 steps to whatever” sermon series. I can not overstate how much we need to learn from our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters, who never lost their trinitarian grounding, and speak often in their music, worship, and liturgy of the mysterium tremendum involved when we tiny, puny humans approach the triune God of the universe. In contrast to modern systematics, Grenz presents us with a theology that is intentionally structured and shaped by the triune reality of God in which trinitarian concerns are not relegated to a footnote or single section but instead permeate all areas of theology.

Captured by the Triune God – Theology as Spirituality

It is in Grenz’s writings that I (re)discovered the idea of perichoresis, and our participation in the divine trinitarian life of God, articulated first by the church fathers but seemingly lost in modern theology. I found that trinitarian theology (and the reality of participation in the triune life) spoke directly to my desperation and doubt. I found trinitarian theology to be immensely practical while at the same time not sacrificing, well, the theological. In fact, through my study of trinitarian theology I became convinced more than ever of the overwhelming majesty, beauty, and sovereignty of God even in the midst of my doubt and grief. In the process I found a desperation for God (as triune) I had not known previously. In fact, it was if my desperation was being transformed – from that of the loss of hope to that of the finding of the ultimate ground of hope and the longing for deeper participation in the divine life. Though hurting, grieving, and doubting I was like a moth led the flame. In essence I went in search of a theology, and a way of doing theology that would give me some answers and alleviate my desperation, only to have my desperation transformed in the (re)discovery of the triune God.

In this sense trinitarian theology has also played a large role in the shaping of my spirituality into what is a trinitarian spirituality that is bound up within and can not be separated from trinitarian theology. I make no claim to have captured all of who God is; instead quite the opposite. The triune God has captured me! I think this may be a pretty good definition of what we might call ‘desperation theology’ (and maybe even theology in general), not trying to somehow propositionally capture God but being captured by God. Perhaps we should all be desperate theologians! Some may feel here that ‘captured’ is too strong of a word, perhaps too Calvinistic even. However, in my experience it fits perfectly. You see, in the depth of my grief, doubt, and despair I was quite helpless and powerless. I had no strength left to hold on to God on my own. I had to give up any pretense I ever may have had about ‘holding on to God’ in my own strength, capturing God, or making sense of things through a theological system alone. No, as I look back the only thing that held me (us really, myself and Christie) together and in place, as it were, was the grace and triune love (perichoresis) of God. I found that despite my lack of strength, this was a love that would not let me go.

Theology and spirituality must be interwoven into the same fabric. Theology happens not through the mere systemization of propositions but when one ceases trying to capture God and is instead, having been drawn in by inexhaustible love and grace, captured by God. Apart from its divine source theology is really a rather weak thing. The would be theologian should be aware that theology is not something to be used to control God. Much of modern theology has been concerned with formulating doctrines through rationalistic methods, boiled down into the form of propositional statements, which are then formally systematized. Theology done (up)rightly should recognize that doctrines are not and can never become an end unto themselves without significant theological distortion and reduction. While, negatively, we can certainly avoid saying false things about God, as well as positively saying many true things, what we say will always have a sense of inadequacy. The triune reality of God is more grand and mysterious than any proposition can communicate. This is not a Sherlock Holmes type mystery that we solve by the use of our rational powers alone. God is not a puzzle that we find the answer too. In reference to the triune mystery the key words are not ‘problem solving’ or ‘sytematics’ but drawing, relational participation, and indwelling. We speak of God, not in the pretense of having God figured out, but because we can not remain silent about the triune God revealed to us ‘in Christ’ and through the Spirit. What must be understood is that what we call doctrines only function properly if the would be theologian is willing to hear from God. One should never confuse doctrinal formulation for either theological or spiritual depth. The intertwining of theology and spirituality ought to lead us to the intertwining of deepening knowledge of God with deepening communion of God which is expressed in a holistically embodied theological existence.

Concluding Theological Primer

When I have discussed this with certain people in the past they have not only been concerned about my experience with doubt but also about my views on propositionalist theology (believing that propositional truth is somehow the highest form of truth). So, it occurs to me that some may come across this and wonder, “Why is this guy saying all these terrible things about propositions?” or, “How can this guy claim to have faith when he clearly dismisses propositions?” or even, “How can he claim that he holds to biblical truth when he is obviously so weak on propositional truth?” If you are reading this and you find yourself with questions like these, its ok, I have been asked questions like these more than once in person. And hopefully, I can put you at ease.

The Nature of Theology

In contrast to the rationalistic, propositional, and systematic expression of theology found throughout much of modern theology I find it helpful to speak of the nature of theology in other terms as well. It is important to note here that rationality (or the use of reason), systematics, nor propositions are bad in and of themselves. They only become problematic when theology is reduced to these things as theology’s sum and substance instead of viewing them in a more holistic manner. Thus, contra the reductionism of rationalistic, propositional, and systematic modern theology I prefer to see theology as:

Not merely rational but…

  • relational – flowing from and embodied in communion with God and others, conversational in nature.
  • reverential – theology done under God’s sovereignty for God’s glory alone.
  • reserved – recognizing our own limits and the irreducible nature of God’s truth, epistemic and theological humility.

Not merely propositional but…

  • phronetic – practical wisdom expressed in ‘fitting’ theological virtues enabling us to make ‘fitting’ theological judgements about the true, the good, and beautiful.
  • prosaic – practical wisdom that is incarnated in everyday life, theology that can move from the prose of Scripture to the prose of contemporary culture.
  • perichoretic – theology that above all else finds it ground, grammar, and goal in the communion of Father, Son, and Spirit.

Not merely systematic but…

  • situational – the recognition that all theology arises within and must be ‘situated’ in particular forms of life and cultural contexts.
  • systemic – each aspect of theology is interrelated, intertwined, and interwoven with all the others and can not be neatly separated but must be considered in relation to each other.
  • story centered – realizing the importance of narrative context and situatedness for the theological task, the central narrative being the narrative of Christ.

In addition, here I repeat something that I’ve said often in other contexts: we are all theologians. In one sense we are all theologians because we all believe something about God (“theo-logy” literally means “words about God” or “teaching about God”). But we are also all theologians in how we live (our narratives), not just what we say (our propositions). Our lives are inherently theological! The question is what kind of theologians we are going to be.

Theology as a Way of Life

This brings us back, I believe, to the interdependent and interwoven character of theology and spirituality. Theology is about making us into a particular kind of people…or if you will; a particular kind of theologian – the kind that love (up)rightly, as well as know (up)rightly and do (up)rightly. The task of theology itself is a kind of spiritual discipline that is just as much an art (if not more) as it is Wissenschaft (ie, a science). The task of theology is a kind of spiritual discipline involving just as much prayer and contemplation (again, if not more) as academic study, a discipline that weaves these things together into the tapestry and fabric of life. The kind of spiritual formation resulting from such discipline is, then, our continued response to the reality of being captured in and by God’s triune love and grace shaping us into the cruciform likeness of Jesus Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, in the community of faith, for the sake of the world and God’s mission in the world. Such formation involves the transformation of the whole person for the purpose of embracing one’s role in the grand theo-dramatic narrative of redemption and has its source in the divine life of God. As such it can be nothing other than wholly theo-logical!

To this end of forming and shaping us into ‘particular kinds of theologians’ are the development of theological virtues such as humility, trust, receptivity, and patience (and we could name others), but the one that stands out to me the most (perhaps because it seems to be in such short supply these days) is the virtue of wisdom. These theological virtues not only work to shape us into ‘particular kinds of theologians’ but in turn also shape the way we carry out the theological task. Theology is not just about producing really smart people. Rather it is a discipline of wise discernment which leads to wise living as well as the development of what I like to call fitting ‘theological instincts’ which contribute to what I referred to above as a ‘holistically embodied theological existence’ that is cruciform and lived to the glory of the triune God.

Such a theological vision will necessarily emphasize the interdependency of theology and praxis. The dominate model it seems in modern theology has been to split or divide theology per se (which is viewed as a kind of theory that is usually propositional) and praxis (as represented by ministerial or ecclesial practice). In this, the theory (or theology) and praxis (or practice) are treated as rather distant cousins that one must choose between. However, I do not believe this should be the case. Theory and praxis should never be divorced, dichotomized, or bifurcated from each other, for while they are both distinct expressions, theory and praxis are both endemic to the theological task and intertwined with each other. Ultimately, the interplay of (up)right loving (orthokardia, being), (up)right knowing (orthodoxy, thinking), and (up)right practice (orthopraxis, doing) contribute a holistic theological hermeneutic for life itself. In view of this I have taken to theologian Miroslav Volf’s view of seeing the task of theology as a involving a whole way of life. Most specifically I have come to see the theology as my/our participation in the divine trinitarian life of God that is trinitarian, narrative, and missional in nature. This is what I see as the thrust of the theological task: theology as participation in the divine life; exhibited and lived out in trinitarian praxis, narrative praxis, and missional praxis.

The Shape of the Theological Task

The shape this theological praxis takes is first of all trinitarian. Though it may seem a rather obvious thing, the triune God must be the center of theological discourse. However, God as Trinity went conspicuously absent in much of modern theology. One of the most important theological tasks I believe is the re-discovery, re-embracing, and re-living of a robustly trinitarian faith. In particular, a theology of participation is a trinitarian undertaking flowing from the triune identity of God as the ground, grammar, and goal of all theology. It is connected to the divine life (the perichoresis of which Father, Son, and Spirit are all communal participants) having been drawn into this participation in the divine, triune life ‘in Christ’ and through the Holy Spirit. The Christian life can be nothing other than participation in the trinitarian life and praxis of God.

Second, this theological praxis takes on a narrative shape. Such a participation in God can only be expressed in narrative form by participating with God in the grand, triune theo-dramatic narrative in the world. I believe the important theological task here is to re-member, re-connect, and re-flect on the narrative dimension of theology. Here theology is not so much about the systematization of propositions but (drawing from Grenz) instead involves the interplay of the biblical narrative as the norming norm of theology, church tradition as the hermeneutical trajectory of theology, and culture as the embedding context of theology. A theology of dramatic, participative narrative theological praxis works to connect us with God’s very life as well as draw us, within our own particular narrative and cultural contexts, into the wider triune theo-dramatic narrative revealed to us within the biblical narrative ‘in Christ’ and through the Holy Spirit.

We can no longer view the theological task as simply gleaning propositions from scripture as is often the case in traditional systematics. I believe we must embrace what might be called a post-propositionalist theology. This does not mean that propositions are summarily done away with but simply placed them in their proper context. The move from propositional to post-propositional is a move from propositions as the sum and substance of theology and faith to a narrative theology and a narrative faith. The issue is that all of the propositions we believe about God and theology in general are embedded within and share and organic relationship with a larger narrative or story. We do a great disservice when we treat theology as “what the Bible says about whatever” and then proceed to draw (or rip!) out propositions from there. I am not saying that what the Bible says is not important, that there is no propositional or cognitive element to theology or faith, or that propositions do not exist or are not important. In fact, I have plenty of propositions that I believe to be true. What I am saying is that these propositions come to us through narrative, specifically the biblical narrative and the cruciform narrative of the incarnation of Christ who can never be reduced to any proposition, and must be lived (not simply formulated) out in the context of our personal narratives. In short, without their narrative contexts propositions are, at the least, in danger of distortion and at worst dead.

I also believe that with a move to a post-propositional, narrative theology we come to treat the Bible differently…as well, narrative. In this I no longer see myself as looking at the Bible from the outside in order to somehow glean timeless propositions – and thus, in a sense, standing over the Bible in authority. Instead I have come to see myself as looking along Scripture as narrative, seeking to find myself within its overarching story as well as seeking to be under Scripture in posture – and thus shaped by the biblical narrative in practice as my personal narrative is conformed to and brought into line with the narrative of biblical triune discourse. This narrative of living along, within, and under the biblical narrative (rather than at, over, and outside) I believe naturally leads to missional living as we participate in the missio dei (or mission of God) and the narrative of the kingdom of God.

Thus, thirdly, this theological praxis takes on a missional shape. Trinitarian praxis and narrative praxis find further expression and completion in missional praxis. As God is active in the world, God is shown to be the missional God who calls His people into not only dramatic participation in His narrative but into missional participation and praxis, which must be grounded in the divine life (perichoresis) of the missional God. Theology as a way of life then is participation in the triune life and praxis of God that brings us into participation in God’s triune narrative and sends us outward in missional praxis to the world ‘in Christ’ and through the Holy Spirit. It is here, in the area of missional praxis (connected to and flowing from trinitarian and narrative praxis), that the church is faced with the need for wise contextualization and incarnational cruciformity. An important theological task here is for the church to re-think, re-form, and re-imagine its ecclesial, missional, and (flowing from this) incarnational presence. As a result we can not divorce the theological task from the ecclesial context. As such theology should never be done in the ‘ivory tower,’ but must always be ‘ecclesial’ in nature, contributing to the trinitarian, narrative and missional praxis of the church. The church, in my view, should be a missional community of missional theologians who worship the one, true missional God.

To summarize then, I have come to see theology as both personal and communal participation in the divine triune life of God that is characterized by trinitarian praxis (our perichoretic participation in the triune, communal life of God), narrative praxis (our cruciform participation in the grand triune, theo-dramatic narrative revealed within the biblical narrative and person of Christ), and missional praxis (our ecclesial participation in the triune mission of God). In this I envision a distinctly trinitarian, narrative, and missional theology that gives rise to a distinctly trinitarian, narrative, and missional spirituality and way of living. This is what I see as the thrust of the theological task: theology as participation in the divine life; exhibited and lived out in trinitarian praxis, narrative praxis, and missional praxis.

My purpose and Agenda

So…why a blog? This is a question that I have been thinking about for awhile and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to do with this blog. With the question of why I refer to myself as the DesperateTheologain explained, the next question is why do I want a blog? Here are a few of the reasons that should give you an idea as to what to expect here at DesperateTheologian.

  • To share about the intersections between my story and theology. I realize that there is a widespread aversion to ‘theology’ among many and that the mere thought causes the eyes of many to roll back into their heads. At the root level I think that many who have this reaction simply don’t see in theology any relevance or import for living in the ‘real world.’ I will admit; this conception may have been well deserved in a host of theological expressions. But in my opinion, theology should never be divorced from the rest of life. I have found theology to be not only immensely practical but crucial. I want to explore the interwoven nature of story and theology (what we might call a storied theology).
  • To help me organize my thoughts. Some will be more organized while some will be me “thinking out loud” and perhaps even incomplete at the time. As a part of this, I do a lot of reading, mainly theological in nature. I am hoping this blog can provide a creative outlet for me, theologically speaking, that will help me process the thoughts from my reading.
  • To develop my ideas and hopefully maybe even get some constructive feedback from others – but only if you promise to be nice.
  • To keep myself in practice as far as writing is concerned. I don’t envision this being strictly academic in nature (I don’t plan on footnoting everything, who has the time) but I don’t want it to be non-academic either – if that makes sense.

Research Interests: Finally, these are some (not all) of my interests in my theological research that just may find their way into a blog post at some point.

  • Developing a theology of community that can find application within the church in the postmodern context.
  • Postmodern theology.
  • Post-foundationalist theology.
  • Gender issues, sexuality, and marriage from a trinitarian perspective.
  • The relationship between Trinity and scripture.
  • Philosophical/theological hermeneutics and hermeneutical philosophy/theology.
  • Theological ethics.
  • The ‘self’, theological anthropology, and the imago dei.
  • The contemporary emerging and missional conversations.
  • The intersections of trinitarian theology (my main area of interest), narrative theology, and missional theology.

And I’m sure Stanley Grenz will warrant a few posts as well. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Why DesperateTheologian

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this and your journey. I especially enjoyed the “Captured by the Triune God — Theology as Spirituality” section. Very much a similar story for me. I’m currently on an 11 month mission trip, being immersed in much need and being confronted with things my evangelical/propositionalistic theology and biblicist approach couldn’t appease. Bless you, and when I have internet I’ll frequent your blog and hopefully enjoy some good dialogue.

    Grace & Peace,

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