Tuesday 4 July 2006

New poll: the finalists

I’ve added a new poll—so come and vote for your favourite theologian from among the finalists of the previous five polls. There is a patristic theologian (Augustine), a Reformed theologian (Barth), a modern Lutheran (Bonhoeffer), a contemporary Anglican (N. T. Wright), and a modern Catholic (Balthasar).

And while you’re in a voting mood, you might like also to stop by Exiled Preacher and vote in the poll there on conservative evangelical theologians (at the moment Don Carson and Sinclair Ferguson are both ahead of Kevin Vanhoozer, which is simply criminal).

Also, make sure you’re visiting God in a Shrinking Universe each day to vote in the finals of the Systematic Theology World Cup (you need to leave comments in order to vote).


Timbo said...

It seems Vanhoozer now shares the top spot with Carson and Ferguson. And I swear it had nothing to do with my repeated voting... (I'm kidding, seriously.)

How's THAT for ambiguous!

Guy Davies said...

Augustine got my vote. According to BB Warfield,

"It is Augustine who gave us the Reformation. For the Reformation, inwardly considered, was just the ultimate triumph of Augustine's doctrine of grace over Augustine's doctrine of the Church".

By the way, over at my blog Vanhoozer is now top of the Poll. Oh the drama of theological democracy.

Ben Myers said...

G'day Tim and Guy: "Vanhoozer is now top of the Poll." As Montgomery Burns would say: "Exccccellent..."

T.B. Vick said...

Would N.T. Wright be considered a "theologian" per se (or proper); since he is most certainly a New Testament exegete and scholar?

guanilo said...

Augustine, no question. You don't get Barth or Balthasar (or Aquinas or Bonaventure or Luther or Calvin or Schleiermacher of Newman or...), at least, without him.

The weirdness that was the Anglican poll is made even more obvious by seeing N.T. Wright in the same company as Barth, Augustine, and HUvB.

Fred said...

Gaunilo and Exiled Preacher are right: Augustine is the giant here. But Balthasar is the one who gave me Augustine, Origen, Irenaeus, Luther, Barth, Dante, Peguy, Luigi Giussani -- and a openess to learning from Protestant and Eastern Christians.

By the way, are the writings of Johan Georg Hamann likely to be translated into English in my lifetime?


thegreatswalmi said...

Is it really fair to vote for someone merely because he thought earlier than anyone else. Granted, we stand on the shoulders of giants. But so did they! Is this reverse chronological snobbery? :) I love Augustine, sure, but would we really not have any of the other theologians without him? We may have them differently, but not at all seems a stretch. I dunno. My write-in vote goes to James Dobson. Or John Hagee...i can't decide.

guanilo said...

Fred - Balthasar first? That's an interesting approach! Of course, I guess Barth was my first step (you probably got better readings of everyone from Balthasar than Barth, though!)

Theoblogian: true, if chronological priority is all that is in question (which is why Origen or Cyprian or Tertullian cannot be said to have the same importance as Augustine). But when a theologian sets the terms of discussion for a few millennia, that's something else.

Fred said...

I think the actual sequence as a college dropout was Fox's Original Blessing - Meditations on the Tarot - Chesterton's Orthodoxy - De Lubac's Catholicism - then Balthasar, beginning with the short books.

Thomists find B. difficult because he doesn't "want to back up his own thought at all cost by means of quotations from Thomas" (Henrici). Theological specialists find B. difficult because B. is a generalist and they don't want to read Corneille, Calderone, Peguy, Bernanos, etc. As a student of literature, however, I am content to get bogged down in the "secondary" readings.

Guy Davies said...

Evangelical Theologian Poll

For the benefit of slackers who can't be bothered to check out my own blog, here's the result of the Poll:

Kevin Vanhoozer 49%

Don Carson 20%

Sinclair Ferguson 16%

Wayne Grudem 8%

Donald Macleod 6%

In my opionion, Carson was robbed. If Ben Myres hadn't threatned to set his pet crocodile on his cronies who didn't vote for KV, the result would have been very different. The UN Electoral Fairness Comittee has indicated that the poll will be subject to an in-depth investigation due to voting irregularities.

byron smith said...

Interestingly, in Ben's poll (to bring the discussion back here for a moment...) there's no Barth west of the Appalachians.

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