A Few More Reading Notes 12/14/13

I just purchased T.F. Torrance’s ‘Reality and Evangelical Theology,’ and ‘Transformation and Convergence in the Frame of Knowledge’, and I can’t wait to tear into them. When it comes to the whole scientific theology thing, Torrance is peerless. I re-read parts of ‘Reality and Scientific Theology’, and remembered just how brilliant Torrance was. I’ve also been going through ‘Incarnation’, a bit more deeply and am finding that it’s just as good as ‘Atonement’.

I also purchased Edward Feser’s ‘Philosophy of Mind,’ and I look forward very much to digging a bit more into that topic in a systematic way. Searle’s book was pretty brilliant, and he makes a very convincing case for biological naturalism. After doing just a bit of digging I’ve found some of the various emergent viewpoints on consciousness/soul/self to be interesting, and so far (and again, I’ve not delved too deeply into the subject yet) sound way more appealing than most of the other viewpoints out there.

Bultmann continues to be great reading, along with Barth, Tillich and Bonhoeffer – who, despite all being different from each other seem to me to belong to the same broad family. Tillich’s ‘Courage to Be,’ is interesting as a study in existentialism – and Bonhoeffer is a pretty sharp critic of views like Tillich’s. I continue to think that while Bultmann is a very important thinker, he had some pretty misplaced views on miracles, laws of nature, etc, etc.

Briane Greene continues to be a fabulous guide through the world of modern physics and cosmology – his non-dogmatic viewpoints and honesty about some of the more far-out theories is so refreshing, and really makes the reading much more enjoyable. I’ve learned quite a bit while reading ‘The Fabric of Reality.’

I’ve been paging through Aristotle’s ‘Nichomachean Ethics,’ and am thoroughly enjoying it. Much more enjoyable than his ‘Metaphysics,’ which was one of the most dry and dull books I’ve read in a while. I also spent some time reading Plato’s ‘Parmenides’, which is one of my favourite philosophical works, partly because of the nature of the discussion and the topics discussed and also because it doesn’t really seem like philosophy hasn’t advanced too far past this discussion.

4 thoughts on “A Few More Reading Notes 12/14/13

  1. Kevin Davis December 14, 2013 / 10:24 pm

    It’s actually rather sad — Bultmann’s “misplaced views” on such matters. Otherwise, I think he could have made a truly great theologian and a church theologian. As it stands, he will be invariably tethered to the existential moment of early-mid 20th century Europe, instead of rising above this moment and serving the church of all ages.

    Transformation and Convergence is a beast! I actually never finished it, as I kept drifting off into other areas of study, so I need to return to it. Reality and Evangelical Theology is not nearly as rigorous, but it is a delight to read and serves as a good starting point for students of Torrance.

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    • whitefrozen December 14, 2013 / 10:34 pm

      Bultmanns shortcomings aside, he is one hell of an exegete – he simply doesn’t let his own personal views colour his exegesis of the biblical text, which commands a lot of respect from me. And I think a lot of his broader points, such as I understand them, are at the very least thought-provoking. But you still see Bultmann being interacted with in terms of hermenutics, exegesis, historical Jesus stuff, dogmatic history, that kind of thing – that in itself is impressive.

      I got into Torrance via ‘Atonement’, and quite quickly found out that that’s probably the easiest to understand thing he wrote. ‘Reality and Scientific Theology’, is incredibly dense, so I can imagine ‘Transformation’, is going to be a wild ride.

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  2. guymax December 16, 2013 / 8:08 am

    For what it’s worth I share your view that (mainstream western university) philosophy has not advanced since Plato’s Parmenides. It may even have gone backwards. For me the preoccupation with theology is part of the problem, but it’s a personal view.

    Liked by 1 person

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