It is no secret that in many places the areas of science and technology are in high demand (or at least perceived by administrations as being so) and become the priorities for Christian universities. But, in the struggle to keep afloat and to offer new programs befitting an increasingly technocratic world, is there a place—even at Christian universities—for theology to be a topic of study for everyone? The opposition to executing this notion well are legion.
In teaching theology, one of my abiding concerns is not just that students gain a clearer understanding of the grammar of the Christian faith, but that they meet the manifold figures along the way who have shaped their thinking unbeknownst to them.
In Jonathan Lear’s book, he puts front and center the paradox of how a culture carries on when everything which has sustained it has crumbled away, or—in the case of the Crow people—been taken from it.
Hart’s argument is forceful, analytically clear, and compelling, in that it begins where theology should properly begin: with God. I offer this commendation of Hart’s work not as a commendation of his conclusions, for four reasons which remain unanswered, and to my mind, must be accounted for. The second part of this review discusses these concerns.
The framing of the book is important, because it shifts the question away from moral agency, the analytical justice of God’s behavior, and biblical hermeneutics of the afterlife, and toward one singular question: the nature of God as the creator of all that is.
Meghan O’Gieblyn writes in collection of essays not as a journalist documenting the remnants of Christian culture, but as one who is a translator of a foreign land for wide-eyed secular observers.