The emergence of canonical theism (Abraham, 2008)

From “Canonical Theism: A Proposal for Theology and the Church”:
Canonical theism as a living option for both church and academy emerged over time as a fruit of intense personal struggle within the contours of contemporary Protestantism. Having expressed its claims elsewhere in this volume in terms of cold-blooded, impersonal theses, my aim in this paper is to provide a brief account of the spiritual and intellectual journey that lies behind it. Clearly others who find it helpful to embrace the central convictions of canonical theism or who are happy to explore this or that element within it, will have very different stories to tell. In a way nothing critical hangs on the particularity of the narrative that follows, for many can come to embrace a vision of the Christian faith from very different backgrounds and angles; the journey is not in itself constitutive of the position adopted. The value of such testimony lies in this: canonical theism is not one more speculative effort in systematic theology; it is an attempt to find an expression of the faith that nourishes the soul and that provides shape and motivation for lively involvement in the life and ministry of the church. There is merit, then, in providing a more personal take on the issues at stake. While every element within canonical theism is subject to appropriate intellectual analysis, reflection, and rigorous criticism, these intellectual practices are intimately joined to a robust commitment to the kingdom of God in the church and the world. So speaking openly and personally about such matters may help illuminate what is at stake. I shall begin at the beginning with my initial conversion but will then work less chronologically and more thematically

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