Quotable: Joshua Searle and Theology After Christendom

Posted by on Aug 6, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

I’m changing the usual Monday format for a few weeks, and instead of a series of quotes from a notable figure, I will be selecting some key quotes from interesting books I am currently reading. The first is from Joshua T. Searle’s thought provoking and insightful work Theology After Christendom: Forming Prophets for a Post-Christian World (Cascade, 2018). Searle is a tutor in Theology and Public Thought at Spurgeon’s College, London, and I had the pleasure of meeting him and teaching in some of his classes during my recent stay at Spurgeon’s. It is always more enjoyable to read a book when you know the author and can sense something of the heartbeat behind the writing, and I have especially enjoyed and been challenged by this book (and will probably blog about its themes and content in the future).

A strength of the book is that it draws from a very wide range of thinkers, and what follows is a mixture of quotes from both Searle and people he cites, with the relevant page in the paperback edition then noted. There is so much worth quoting from this book that it’s likely take a few Monday’s before we have exhausted it…

  • God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason. Dag Hammarskjold (p5)
  • Theology must retain its prophetic vocation to speak truth to power and to revolt against what is ugly, commonplace and vulgar in contemporary social life. Joshua Searle (p12)
  • Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be. Jose Gasset (p13)
  • Unless you see a thing in the light of love, you do not see it at all. Kathleen Raine (p16)
  • …to be human is to love, and it is what we love that defines who we are. James K. A. Smith (p17)
  • If theological education is too closely tied to church institutions, it will share in the decline and possible eventual disappearance of the churches from public life. Joshua Searle (p22)

Enough for one Monday. As always, nice chatting…

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