Friday, October 1, 2010

Church Dogmatics Online

Unable to Reformate this blog.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Theology of Money

From Barnes and Noble website:

Pub. Date: August 2009
Publisher: Duke University Press
Format: Textbook Paperback, 296pp
Sales Rank: 534,435
Series: New Slant: Religion, Politics, Ontology Series
ISBN-13: 9780822344506
ISBN: 0822344505
Edition Description: New Edition


Theology of Money is a philosophical inquiry into the nature and role of money in the contemporary world. Philip Goodchild reveals the significance of money as a dynamic social force by arguing that under its influence, moral evaluation is subordinated to economic valuation, which is essentially abstract and anarchic. His rigorous inquiry opens into a complex analysis of political economy, encompassing markets and capital, banks and the state, class divisions, accounting practices, and the ecological crisis awaiting capitalism.

Engaging with Christian theology and the thought of Carl Schmitt, George Simmel, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, and many others, Goodchild develops a theology of money based on four contentions, which he elaborates in depth. First, money has no intrinsic value; it is a promise of value, a crystallization of future hopes. Second, money is the supreme value in contemporary society. Third, the value of assets measured by money is always future-oriented, dependent on expectations about how much might be obtained for those assets at a later date. Since this value, when realized, will again depend on future expectations, the future is forever deferred. Financial value is essentially a degree of hope, expectation, trust, or credit. Fourth, money is created as debt, which involves a social obligation to work or make profits to repay the loan. As a system of debts, money imposes an immense and irresistible system of social control on individuals, corporations, and governments, each of whom are threatened by economic failure if they refuse their obligations to the money system. This system of debt has progressively tightened its hold on all sectors and regions of globalsociety. With Theology of Money, Goodchild aims to make conscious our collective faith and its dire implications.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

From a seminarian’s liberal religious blog on John Calvin

This is to say that there are themes in the writings of John Calvin, a French Reformation leader, that I take as my own while leaving other parts behind. I thought I'd highlight what some of the themes I've taken.

1. The natural world tells us all of God that we are in a position to know. That's a robust natural theology! Special revelation is not new information beyond our world. It illuminates something already at play in our world.

2. Theology starts with anthropology. To know something of God is to know something about ourselves and our relationships to each other and our wider world.

3. Sin, pride, impiety is an over (or under) estimation of ourselves in relation to one other and our world. Any number of cruelties (to use Niebuhr for a moment) against each other and nature occur when we ignore those relations.

4. Sin and grace are bigger than individuals. They both indicate significant features of a world that draw us either to inordinate self regard or other regard. The ambiguity is living in a fallen world that yet gives signs of God's redemptive purposes.

4. Calvin was just as able to draw from Seneca as Scripture. As a French Humanist he saw the Christian tradition as a wisdom tradition, a philosophy almost that could draw from the best, including non Christian resources.

5. Like Augustine, Calvin also believed that all knowledge was from God. Science, literature, philosophy, any field and discipline was a gift not something to be wary of or at war with. In fact it can set us on a path to discern our proper place in our world and relations.

6. God's redemptive work is for the whole of creation. So there is no way to cut off some part of the world, the secular, or some area of life as not religiously significant.
posted by Dwight @ 12:01 AM 4 Comments

Image from Wikipedia.

God as Personification

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Timely comment for Easter

“Here I am reminded of a story about civil rights legend and Christian iconoclast Reverend Vernon Johns, Martin Luther King Jr.’s predecessor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1960, white Southern Baptists and black National Baptists gathered at the Seventh Baptist Church in Baltimore to discuss racial tension in the city. During the worship service, historian Taylor Branch recounts that Vernon Johns sat visibly annoyed as he listened to the white preacher preach on salvation and being “washed in the blood of the Lamb.” When it was Johns’ moment to address the assembly, to the consternation of white preachers and the humiliation of most black preachers in attendance, the ecclesial journeyman went right after the preacher who went before him. 'The thing that disappoints me about the Southern white church,” Johns said, “is that it spends all of its time dealing with Jesus after the cross, instead of dealing with Jesus before the cross.'

“He then turned directly to the preacher and said, ‘You didn’t do a thing but preach about the death of Jesus. If that were the heart of Christianity, all God had to do was to drop him down on Friday and let them kill him, and then yank him up again on Easter Sunday… You don’t hear so much about his three years of teaching that man’s religion is revealed in the love of his fellow man…That is what offended the leaders of Jesus’s own established church as well as the colonial authorities from Rome. That’s why they put him up there [on the cross]… I want to deal with Jesus before the cross. I don’t give a damn what happened to him after the cross!’”

Friday, March 19, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

For memory

Do not shed tears for me. I will get past this thing.

Yes, ( ) was my lover, husband, my friend and my confidant. I shared things with him I could never share with anyone else. I look back on our relationship with happiness. I am glad that I was able to be what he wanted me to be, bold and not shy, openly lusty and not ashamed. I could not have been that way now. He is the only man I have have had intercourse with. It is fitting that I am closed now. I feel lust that I should not be able to satisfy.

Poignant lines 2/27/10

Dear Ted,

My husband was killed by one of the roadside bombs on February 19. I am briefly in USA for his burial. I will return to the Kingdom after.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The problem with the Vietnam War Memorial is that it celebrates the red poppies but not the white poppies. The dead American soldiers are the red poppies. The civilians who died are the white poppies. Where is the memorial for the white poppies?


In this my personal Christian blog, I hope to be discursive and now and then critical. What I write here is tentative and tensive. I post thoughts, feelings, and observations somewhat randomly and often in immediate response to current events and posts on other blogs.

"Serendipitous Creativity" from Gordon Kaufman

"I suggested that what we today should regard as God is the ongoing creativity in the universe - the bringing (or coming) into being of what is genuinely new, something transformative; …

"In some respects and some degrees this creativity is apparently happening continuously, in and through the processes or activities or events around us and within us(…) is a profound mystery to us humans(…) But on the whole, as we look back on the long and often painful developments that slowly brought human life and our complex human worlds into being, we cannot but regard this creativity as serendipitous …

"I want to stress that this serendipitous creativity - God! - to which we should be responsive is not the private possession of any of the many particular religious faiths or systems …

"This profound mystery of creativity is manifest in and through the overall human bio-historical evolution and development everywhere on the planet; and it continues to show itself throughout the entire human project, no matter what may be the particular religious and or cultural beliefs."

Gordon Kaufman, Mennonite Life, December 2005 vol. 60 no. 4

Melville is a rational man who

"Melville is a rational man who wants God to exist. He wants Him to exist for the same reasons we all do: to be our rescuer and appreciator, to act as a confidant in our moments of crisis and to give us reassurance that, over the horizon of our deaths, we will survive." (John Updike)

And that is a problem for me.

Fragmented Notions

Fragmented Notions
Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

Search This Blog