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Faith, Form, and Fashion

Classical Reformed Theology and Its Postmodern Critics
  • By Paul Helm
This is a detailed examination of the theological innovations of Kevin Vanhoozer and John Franke. Each proposes that doctrinal and systematic theology should be recast in the light of postmodernity. No longer can Christian theology be foundational, or have a stable metaphysical and epistemological framework. Vanhoozer advocates a theo-dramatic reconstruction of Christian doctrine, replacing the timeless propositions of the ""purely cerebral theology"" of the Reformed tradition in favor of a theology that does justice to the polyphony of multiple biblical genres. Franke holds that theology is part of a three-way conversation between Scripture, tradition, and culture, with an uncertain outcome. This study shows that each of these proposals is based on misunderstanding and exaggeration, and that the case against foundationalism is unclear and unpersuasive. It is argued that Vanhoozer's appeal to revelation as divine speech-acts is not as radical as he thinks, and his epistemology is weak. In the hands of postmodernity, Christian theology abandons its exactness and the standards of care that are a notable feature of doctrinal constrictions. The book will be of importance to those with interest in Reformed theology or Christian theology more generally. It provides a clear assessment of the impact of the postmodern mindset on theology. ""His confessional conception of the Calvinistic tradition looks to the great thinkers of the past whilst seeking to address pressing doctrinal and philosophical issues in the present, with an eye to the future. This is a readable and stimulating study that is sure to generate discussion "" --Oliver D. Crisp, Professor of Systematic Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA ""Helm's Faith, Form, and Fashion clarifies the stakes involved in abandoning what Helm calls 'Classical Reformed Theology' for postmodernist approaches like Vanhoozer's and Franke's. No doubt, Vanhoozer will have much to say about Helm's take on his position, but Helm's book opens a crucial dialogue for all who care about sound theological articulation of Christian faith."" --Mark R. Talbot, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL ""Classic Reformed Theology has always been under threat, both externally from enemies and internally from misguided friends. In this book, Paul Helm offers a trenchant exposition and defense of Reformed Theology, deploying his usual artillery of historical, confessional, and philosophical arguments. This book will hopefully persuade non-Reformed readers to take the Reformed faith more seriously and also provide those already Reformed with better arguments for their beliefs."" --Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA Paul Helm is a Teaching Fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada. He held the Chair of the History and Philosophy at King's College, London, 1993-2000. He is the author of several books, including John Calvin's Ideas (2004) and Eternal God (2nd ed., 2010).

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    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9781625645913
    • Manufacturer: Cascade Books
    • Language of Text: English
    • ISBN 13: 9781625645913
    • Publication Date: 08/01/2014
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: Paul Helm
    • Page Count: 288
    • Weight: 0.94 pounds
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