Anyway, this post is really just to promise that normal service will be resumed (gradually over the next few weeks).
Meanwhile, here is an autumnal photo of a path in Queen’s Park:
An online exercise in integrating the scattered parts of my life
Each one of us has his own gifts, his own means and his own vocation. Mine are as a Christian who prays and as a theologian who reads a great deal and takes many notes. May I therefore be allowed to sing my own song! The Spirit is breath. The wind sings in the trees. I would like, then, to be an Aeolian harp and let the breath of God make the strings vibrate and sing. Let me stretch and tune the strings – that will be the austere task of research. And then let the Spirit make them sing a clear and tuneful song of prayer and life.
Theology is the persistent asking and disciplined answering of the question: Given that the Christian community has in the past said and done such-and-such, what should it do now? The question may be divided: (1) What has the Christian community in fact said and done? and, (2) What should it say and do in the future? The first sub-question, pursued within the context of the whole question, gives historical theology. The second sub-question, likewise only when pursued within the context of the whole question, gives systematic theology. (p. vii)And, of systematic theology specifically he says,
Systematic theology is called ‘systematic’ because the church's message is about everything in life, and yet is somehow one message. To say what the church’s message shall be, one must grasp this comprehensive unity. This grasp will not always be the the construction of ‘a system’ in the more specific sense of the word; systematic theology can even be fragmentary and aphoristic in its form. (pp. vii–viii)And, finally, from The Triune Identity, a warning against the besetting sin of conservative evangelicals:
Returns to the ‘simple gospel’ seldom land at their intended destination; they land instead at whatever interpretation of reality is currently most hallowed by familiarity. (p. 161)