The pendulum swings is an all too common occurrence in theology. Every correction tends toward over-correction. Over-correction results in additional error. They cycle continues. Barth divorces theology from general revelation. Tillich conforms theology to general revelation. Neo-orthodoxy posits radical transcendence. Liberalism posits radical immanence. Barth receives revelation from direct encounter in the present. The theologians of hope (Moltmann and Pannenberg) feel God’s pull from the eschatological future. Those who see the larger picture end up losing all distinction. Those who see the distinctions end up losing the larger picture. Over-compensation begets over-compensation.

Is there no end? Is there no way to take the various trajectories (however extreme and radical) and plot them on a theological grid, arriving, by prayer and sweat and tears, to a glimpse (however dim) of the true nature and contents of theology?

We all think we have reality in our hands, when all we grasp is wind—here today, gone tomorrow. If we acknowledge our grasp of the wind, others accuse us of relativism. If we declare the bits we know, still others accuse of narrowness and rigidity. Somewhere, amongst the movements and claims and declarations, there are hints of truth—clues to reality.

“Now we know in part… then face to face.”


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