Monday, January 13, 2014

Dialectical Theology

Having read a number of dialectical theologians for a number of years I feel I will defend and explain what they have to say. In general I see on the web a lopsided unfairness to these theologians and explanations of their ideas which really make no sense of the people.

First what is dialectical theology? I think it is important to understand what motivates the theology.

It is an intuition that much of traditional theology oversimplifies reality. Take for an instance arguably the predestination and free will debate. There is a sort of either/or which permeates the debate.

Dialectical Theology simply says "yes." Is man free, yes? Is God sovereign, yes? Sometimes we need to look into a both/and approach in theology.

In a sense dialectical theology is simply a less structured theology than traditional theology. There is a willingness to intellectually meet paradox.

There is a claim that Dialectical Theology is a form of fideism. Often Fideism is suggested to be faith that is reasonless.

Really the reality is this is a poor representation of the position. Faith is above reason and beyond the comprehension or reason but not against reason.

You see that in fideism in Soren Kierkegaard for example the leap of faith is a in a sense a leap into the dark, but it is not an uncalculated one.

Really at the bottom of dialectical theology is a large degree of rational argumentation and reason. But it retains mystery and realizes that faith is above reason, but not in conflict.

You see we can always find enough to believe, but there will always remain enough doubt that if we wished not to believe we could so choose.

The sort of uncertainty in dialectical theology is more due to humility of mankind before God than irrational thinking. Really to a degree some traditional theologians are more at fault in this respect when claims are made by certain men that they know the mind of God.

Most theologians laugh at such claims but are much less hard on these theologians than on dialectical theologians which is strange because the bible specifically says that no one can comprehend God and thus the dialectical theologians are much closer to the teaching of scripture.
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