Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Which is it?

A brief extract from Tony Jones' paper delivered at Wheaton:

Orthodoxy is a
happening, an occurrence, not a state of being or a state of mind or a state-ment.

It's a move from the ontological--orthodoxy is--to the eschatological--orthodoxy will be.

Orthodoxy is an event because God is eschatological. God is the future, and God calls us into the future.

In order for us to know now that "God is eschatolgical" orthodoxy cannot be solely eschatological, it must also be ontological. It must be a statement, otherwise "God is eschatological" is meaningless nonsense. How do we know that God is eschatological? And why make such a claim when you are arguing that such claims are not for now but only for the eschaton?

Carson raised similar concerns about the late Stan Grenz's eschatological-truth proposals outlined in Renewing the Center:

And that leads him to his Pannenberg-inspired references to the eschatological world, leaving unanswered the question about whether we can say anything objective about this world. In any case, what, precisely is the relationship between our "statements" and this "world beyond our formulations"? If the expression "world beyond our formulations" is taken in an absolute sense, we cannot say anything about it, so we may as well stop trying.

D. A. Carson, "Domesticating the Gospel," in Erickson, Helseth, Taylor [eds.], Reclaiming the Center, p. 54

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