‘Yoder and the Work of Christian Theology’

Posted on by Jeremy Daggett

Declan Kelly, reflecting on using John Howard Yoder’s contributions in theology without taking into account the type of life Yoder lived:

I approached his work entirely uncritically, and focussed solely on the fact that his exegesis of Scripture was convincing and convicting.

What I did was wrong, with or without the latest information regarding Yoder’s crimes (crimes for which he served no time in prison). To be uncritical is to cease to do the work of Christian theology. In truth, it is to cease to do the work of a Christian. A Christian is not a positive thinker. There should be no one more critical than a Christian, for there was no one more critical than Christ. We learn that from his first instruction as a wandering prophet: Repent! Why and how we do the work of criticism is another question, but there can be no question that it is work which must be done. The uncritical church will not be a “positive” influence in society. It will be a miserable place of secrecy and betrayal, with no hope of truthful communion.

(Via Kevin Hargaden)

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