Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another reason why the subtitle reads "Alas, poor Theology"

I have been dabbling a little in the neo-atheist writings of the Hitchens and Harris, wondering what to do with their challenges toward religion. I'm not one who believes atheists are the problem that some Christians believe. But I haven't discerned how to address atheist thought.

People who know my vocational patterns and proclivities know that Walter Brueggemann is a theologian whom I consult on a regular basis, and not merely for Old Testament commentary, but for Christian life in general. I was sold when I embedded my inquiry into Brueggemann's implicit stewardship scholarship called The Liturgy of Abundance and the Myth of Scarcity. This was a transformative piece for me--having read it and heard it live at a conference, I connected my own personal history to the history of God's action in the world and the theological utterances of God's people.

I hope Brueggemann writes more regarding Biblical criticism. I don't think Brueggemann may be specifically addressing atheists in this writing, but I think he offers wisdom in a way that I cannot personally resource. I needed this writing today--I haven't hit a crisis of faith in my reading, but not knowing how to think about atheist thought was a little disconcerting. I'll be writing about Sam Harris in the coming days, and hopefully some worthwhile thought and writing will follow.

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