Monday, March 30, 2009

Professor D. Stephen Long and the Task of Orthodox Theology

AWAF featured speaker, Dr. D. Stephen Long asserts that theology must remain orthodox in order to maintain the priority of God’s gift in Jesus Christ as the only possible means of creation and redemption. The theological priority of God’s gift in Jesus Christ mediates the Christian’s participation in culture, ethics, economy, philosophy and church. Long identifies the trend of modernity as searching for and proclaiming what is “new.” This interminable “newness” that characterizes modernity has left its mark on theology as well as all things in our culture. Modern theology proclaims itself to be “progressive,” moving from the old to the new. The “new” never seems to deliver what it promises except the dissolution of the past, including the historical tradition of Christianity.

The task of postmodern theologians is to remember Christianity’s theological roots that nurture orthodox beliefs and practices, and therefore, genuine Christianity. For Long, the best answer to the questions of the relationship between theology and culture is to be found in an orthodox Christology. This allows for speaking of Jesus Christ in truth and grace and in our own language, culture and times. We need not forfeit one for the other.

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