Sunday, July 05, 2009

Paradox in Christian Theology

Paul Helm on James Anderson's Paradox in Christian Theology:
Some ships, decked in bunting, set sail with a great fanfare and to the sounds of a brass band. Others, carrying an equally valuable cargo, weigh anchor and make for the open sea unnoticed. James Anderson’s book, Paradox in Christian Theology (Milton Keynes, Paternoster, 2007), has slipped out almost unnoticed. There has certainly been no fanfare, and though it has received several favourable reviews as far as I can tell it has not yet been much appreciated by that sector of the Christian public likely to enjoy and benefit from it.

This is a pity. For what Anderson has written is a book of great importance to those concerned both with the relation of Christian theology to reason, and with the question of the reasonableness of Christian belief. In the first half of the book he raises questions about doctrinal coherence, and in the second half he raises how deep our understanding of the mysteries of the faith can hope to be, and whether it is reasonable to believe what we cannot understand. Anderson has admirable contributions to each of these areas. His treatments of the questions are thorough and clear, with a good theological grasp and a philosophical mind. A rare combination. He writes clearly and carefully, with no inclination to fudge or equivocate over the central questions that he raises. He shows a good knowledge of the primary and secondary sources. His treatment also raises further questions for discussion. My aim here is simply to note some of its main features in the hope that it will whet some appetites.
Read the whole thing.

You can also see the website of Dr. Anderson, who teaches philosophy and theology at RTS-Charlotte.