Wednesday 17 August 2005

Alister McGrath and worldviews

In his recent three-volume work, A Scientific Theology (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2001-3), Alister McGrath has reflected on the relationship between worldviews and theology.

McGrath argues on the one hand that Christian theology can and should draw freely on existing worldviews. In particular, McGrath thinks that the worldview of natural science is an immensely valuable dialogue-partner for theology. On the other hand, though, he argues that Christian theology should never join itself too closely to any particular worldview; above all, it should never allow any worldview to achieve a foundational status: “rather than committing itself to any particular world-view, Christian theology should use or appropriate as many world-views and forms of language as are appropriate to explicate the truth of God’s Word without allowing itself to enter into a relation of independence on them” (Scientific Theology, 2:201).

In other words, theology is free from reliance on any particular worldview; and it is free for constructive engagement with all worldviews.

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