Reflection on The Story of Christian Theology and Types of Christian Theology

Whatever you have learned through these books, it should include an awareness that a lot happened in Christian thought in late modernity. The massive conversation (debate? war? surrender?) between the Christian faith and the Enlightenment took a lot of turns, many of them interesting and revealing, many of them enriching, many of them dysfunctional.

Imagine you were alive in the year 1800, and had the extraordinary gift of prophesying the theological future. 'Foresee' the lessons that God would have for your community (defining this is up to you: it may be a church or denomination, a town or area, a family or ethnic group, whatever).

Deliver that prophecy. What warnings and encouragements would you deliver to your community as it faces the nineteenth and especially the twentieth centuries? Draw explicitly and substantively on Olson and Frei.

The literary form of your work is up to you. Feel free to sound like yourself, or the prophet Isaiah, or the apocalyptic Jesus, or an educated Christian voice of the turn of the nineteenth century — whatever helps you get your point across. Keep in mind, however, that your extraordinary gift includes the foreknowledge of specific page numbers in Olson and Frei. Future generations (i.e., your readers and I) will need these to confirm the integrity of your vision.

Since Frei is such difficult reading, you may want to draw on the student presentations and your notes from the accompanying discussion for greater clarity. If you do, cite the author's name and the date the presentation was due to be delivered, e.g. (Work 2/13/2003).

Please keep your paper three pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers.

Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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