Two unorthodox theologians

In keeping with my notion to shift the focus here to pointing at things I’ve found useful, I want to mention two modern-day theologians whose blogs I’ve found to be richly rewarding.

I’ve only lately begun following Richard Beck, though I’m pretty sure I’ve read blog posts of his over the years when others have linked them. I added his blog to my RSS reader after coming across this post on conscience vs. tradition as the source of authority, which I thought knocked it out of the park. Then when Rene Girard died recently I decided from mentions of his work that I should learn more, and discovered Beck’s seven-part series (start here) on Girard’s notion of Jesus as the final scapegoat, which nearly blew the top of my head off—the notion, though the posts are good too. And he is currently posting a 6-part series called A Progressive Vision of the Benedict Option (start here) which pulls no punches when pointing out flaws in conservative approaches to Christian community which are proving fatal.

I’ll be mining Beck’s blog for many months to come, since it is well organized and he has posted every weekday for the past ten years. Here are a few scattered posts I’ve found especially tasty:

My other favorite blogging theologian is Andrew Perriman, who I’ve mentioned before and have followed for more than a year now. Studying Perriman’s narrative-historical method for reading and understanding the Bible has worked a major overhaul on my own approach, and I think for the better—at least, I am now very much at peace with my own understanding of Scripture and able to completley focus on living out that understanding.

Perriman organizes his blog sort of like a wiki, peppering each post with links to other related posts, so the best way to read him is to pick an entry point and start chasing down references. But he does have a list (under “Method” in the menu bar) of posts which make good introductions. My favorite is a recent one, This Changes Everything, since it describes the delightful disorientation one experiences when the method begins to sink in. The other six are as follows, in no particular order—if a post title strikes your fancy, start there.

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One thought on “Two unorthodox theologians

  1. Well, this is going to be fun! Your post reminded me that I was 3/4 of the way through a First Things article written by Girard himself in 1996, and I was finding it absolutely fascinating. Unfortunately the fact that I didn’t finish it yet probably speaks volumes about my level of concentration right now, but now you’ve reminded me, so I’ll finish.

    I don’t yet know about the links you’ve posted, but the Girard articles, and also the Brené Brown talks before, both provide interesting psychological insight into, and in my opinion no conflict with, Christ’s relationship with the believer and the love he wishes us to have for one another. And then there’s Romano Guardini, whose book The Lord is over 600 pages, but well worth it for similar sorts of insights into the life of Christ. While reading it, I find my heart “strangely warmed.”

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