Thursday, August 10, 2006

Grace in the end

Eschatology is founded upon and directed towards God's grace revealed and promised in Jesus Christ by the Spirit.

This has been my basic assumption and message in the blog thus far (particularly those key posts marked with an asterix down on the right). After receiving some helpful critical feedback about my tone, direction and focus, I would like to commit afresh to posts that:

Focus on an eschatology of grace
While not exclusively eschatological, or even exclusively theological, I'd like this to be the integrating theme.

Are exegetically engaged and engaging
As Barth's final advice to his students so memorably put it, exegesis is the heartbeat of theology. While not every claim needs to have all its working shown, I apologise if I've succumbed too often to the temptation of unexplained theological shorthands. I read a good analogy last night: slogans and shorthands are briefcases into which a whole theological narrative can be packed for convenient travel. But the point is to unpack it when you arrive, rather than engage in a squabble where each sides hits the other over the head with a briefcase.

Contain exegesis of my assmptions as well as Scripture
Similarly, I apologise if I haven't always been as transparent about my own working assumptions as I could have been. We can never escape having them, and must always struggle to articulate and remain conscious of them. Revisable and provisional, they remain an enabling condition of all communication and living.

Include more links between posts
Since reading a blog is the reverse of reading a book (thanks Adrian), it is possible to have a reading experience in which one arrives at conclusions without consciousness of the arguments on which they are founded. If you are new to reading blogs, be gracious, extending charitable assumptions towards the blogger that somewhere, somehow this crazy point might already be explained (or shown to be satirical!). And I'll try to do my part.

Are constructive as well as critical
It's easy to take pot shots from the sidelines, harder to suggest an alternative. Again, apologies if you feel I've been indulgent in this respect. Time to stick my neck out a little more; feel free to have a swing (esp if you'll then take your turn on the block!).

• Occasionally involve kite-flying, satire and links
Not every link is an endorsement; some are there for illustration or opposition rather than support. Not every post is to be taken as a monological declaration of truth. While I'm writing on the 'final' things, this blog is certainly not a final word. Come and join the conversation. I won't bite (unless requested).

Often have pictures
They seem to be popular. And hey, they're often the best thing about my posts. Ten points for the location above.

Are gracious in tone and manner, as well as content
I like those bumper stickers that say 'My driving is on display; please call XYZ if you would like to comment.' Consider yourselves invited to comment not only on what I post, but how I post it.

One of the things I like most about John Piper is the title of one of his books: The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in Future Grace. The future of grace: that's where we'll be headed for the next little while. Feel free to join me.
Ten points for naming the city in the pic above.

15 comments:

John P. said...

"slogans and shorthands are briefcases into which a whole theological narrative can be packed for convenient travel. But the point is to unpack it when you arrive, rather than engage in a squabble where each sides hits the other over the head with a briefcase."

well said! As a daily reader of your blog, I appreciate this mission statement of sorts...I do not feel as though you have egregiously committed any of the afore mentioned transgressions...but it is always good to lay down some foundations so that you can be held accountable...

Justin said...

MPJ said that you might have emailed me? jmoff at hotmail if you wish.

Self Reinvention! It worked for U2.

D.W. Congdon said...

Byron,

This is an unrelated question, since I don't know your email address. Have you thought about adding it to your profile?

Anyway, I was wondering how you got the search for your blog which is on the bottom of your page. Is that a Technorati thing? You can email me at dwcongdon at gmail.

Thanks.

Emma said...

Hey Byron? We think you're nice. :)

Drew said...

Hey Byron,

Nice blog-reflection (blogfection didn't really have a ring to it). And good to be challenged to be more gracious - thanks!

byron said...

John - As mentioned I stole the image. It's from The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture by N.T. Wright.

Justin and DW (=David?), thanks - I've now emailed you both.

Emma - thanks!

Drew - no worries.

byron said...

And John: why doesn't your profile link to your blog? I'm enjoying your series on Hick's attempt at theodicy.

Ben Myers said...

"Since reading a blog is the reverse of reading a book ..., it is possible to have a reading experience in which one arrives at conclusions without consciousness of the arguments on which they are founded" -- in other words, a blog is an eschatological book.

Justin said...

B -- BTW -- I never received an email. I'm curious to what the person who did recieve the emails thinks...
:)

jmoff at hotmail dot com

J.

byron said...

justin - that's very weird. I misaddressed the initial email (j.moff, rather than jmoff), but definitely sent the second on 11th August. Weird.

michael jensen said...

Hey yeah Byron: I would love to see some theologically informed exegesis on your blog. Just snippets, but some. We theologs need to steal the Bible back from the clutches of the Biblical Studies crowd!

byron said...

Ben - nice.

MPJ - theologically informed exegesis: hopefully also some theologically informing exegesis...

byron said...

Here is a nice little attempt at explaining the process of theo-blogging. I affirm what is said there as also applying here.

Anthony said...

Well, I'm claiming this for sure! Venice, Venezia, etc...

byron said...

Ten points to Anthony once again - and once again, I was very happy with the timing of this photo (see comment here).