Tuesday, June 17, 2008

David Bentley Hart and Where was God

Gentle readers,

Your absent blogger/seminarian is intrigued with some swirling thoughts of late.

First is the concept of beauty. I am of the increasing opinion that Dostoevsky was right "Beauty will save the world."

Second is the increasingly strong and alarming thought concerning the destructive and deeply heretical teachings of Calvinism, particularly the Calvinistic notions concerning sovereignty and election. I am convinced that any future Ecumenical Council will be forced to anathematize Calvinism as one of the most insidious heresies ever faced by Christianity.

Finally, what is driving both of these thoughts is the widely reviewed theological work of David Bentley Hart. It is my opinion that Hart should be more widely known among the Orthodox, of which he is a part, and also it should be appreciated that Hart's work is getting serious attention in Western Christian academic circles.

Below is a link to an interview with Dr. Hart that I recommend highly. I also recommend both of his books of late: "The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth" and "The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?" Both books are published by the Eerdmans.

Please know that I am completely unable to grasp much of what Hart writes due to my very limited philosophical training, but what I do know is that the two nagging notions above are strengthened by Hart's work.

Gentle reader, two parting thoughts: God is not the author of evil, and, God is absolutely in every sense of the word and even beyond every sense of the word, FREE.

Here's the link to the interview.


DebD said...

I'm currently reading The Doors of the Sea... and enjoying very much. Thanks to the link of his interview.

Barnabas Powell said...

You're welcome Deb.

I pray Dr. Hart becomes more widely appreciated among the Orthodox simply because he can give us language to talk to the current world of theology here in America.

DebD said...

for your consideration. I've just finished a review of the book over at my blog.

iwinc said...

Father Barnabas,

If God isn't the author of evil then how do you explain psalm 50:

21These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
22Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

Technically or by semantics you could say that God isn't the author of evil and tearing people in pieces if they forget him/forget to thank Him isn't evil it's just God instilling the fear of God well that doesn't make me any less scared.
God may not do evil per say but he sure still is scary and the phrase "lest i tear you in pieces & there be none to deliver" has kept me crying and worrying many nights.
Its in the bible,theres no way that a person can deny it or twist it or say it was taken out of context,theres no "nice" way of meaning to tearing someone in pieces so we can say He meant it another way and we misinterpreted so since its right there i'd just prefer that orthodox etc would just straightout say yes God is scary because when orthodox say God is love etc and not like that then it puts a bit of hope in you that maybe all the scary teachings from baptist etc are wrong but then you go and read the bible and its full of scary things like the above so its better to me if orthodox just say its true because holding on to false hope that its not true doesn't help troubled me. better to just know straightout.
The bibles full of scary stories of Gods wrath on people/things