Re: [asa] "Certainty" in Theology

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Wed Jun 06 2007 - 16:27:21 EDT

Matt -- I personally don't shy away from it, though I don't completely
identify with it either. Like most things, I think, it has some positive
elements and some negative. My sense, and it's just a bit of intuition
cobbled from limited experience, is that many people involved in the natural
sciences shy away from any mention of "postmodern" because the term suggests
some kind of anti-realism. Some postmodern philosophies see reality as
socially / linguistically constructed. But I don't think most folks in the
emerging church movement go quite that far. In fact, much of the epistemic
critique in the emerging church movement is really a form a critical
realism. One good site: Scott McKnight's "Jesus Creed" (

On 6/6/07, Matthew Van Hook <> wrote:
> David,
> Could you expand on your comments on the emerging church? I've seen the
> "emerging church" or "postmodern" movement mentioned a few times on this
> discussion list and am interested to hear thoughts on why most of us might
> shy away from it. I did a bit of reading into it a while ago (Don Miller and
> Brian McLaren mostly) and haven't thought about it too much since then. I'd
> still be curious to hear the perspectives out there. Thanks!
> ~Matt
> Quoting David Opderbeck:
> >
> > I suspect most of us with a bent towards studying faith-science
> > questions would experience some discomfort over the proposition that our
> > faith claims can be known with "certainty." I'm guessing many of us would
> > also be uncomfortable with the label "postmodern" and might shy away from
> > the "emerging church." Most of us probably are "critical realists" of a
> > sort -- with the "critical" part meaning that we would reject claims to
> > "absolute, final certainty" based on human observation and reason.
> >
> >
> --
> Matthew J. Van Hook
> Graduate Student
> Brown University, Department of Neuroscience
> 315.529.1419

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Received on Wed Jun 6 16:27:58 2007

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