The column will be published online every two weeks. Hansen begins this week by addressing the New Perspective on Paul (there is one, and I've heard--I haven't read for myself at all yet--it dismantles justification by faith alone by suggesting that Martin Luther projected the Medieval Catholicism of his day back into New Testament Judaism, and that every Protestant since has misread Paul). Here's a snippet from Hansen's first installment:
The average churchgoer will never have the time or inclination to focus on theology. Even in our most rigorous churches, the cares of this world interfere. Perhaps an encounter with a seminary graduate has convinced them that theology belongs to arrogant eggheads. As a result, what seems so important in seminary produces blank stares in the pews.
For evangelicals—Christians committed to a high view of Scripture—this is a discouraging scenario. More than that, it's dangerous. Christian colleges and seminaries can grow detached from the churches they serve. Hazardous ideas can percolate for decades without so much as a nod from most churchgoers. And parents wonder why their undergraduate daughter or seminary son graduates with odd ideas about everything. So they blame the theologians and the cycle continues.
But what if they knew more about current debates? What if someone could direct them toward resources that would help them think theologically about current events? I hope that in some small way, this column might help those of you who want to care about theology but lack the time to skim blogs. Maybe you'd consider attending a conference if you only knew when or where to go. You might even read the occasional book if someone explained why it's important. As I draw on the help of scholars and friends, I hope this column will become a destination for you to catch what you might have missed in the last two weeks and discern what you otherwise might not have foreseen. Continue Reading...