Monday, October 22, 2007

High Flyer: Richard Rorty obituary | New Humanist

High Flyer: Richard Rorty obituary | New Humanist

Danny Postel pointed me to this essay he wrote on Richard Rorty. Thanks, Danny!

I tend to be sympathetic to many of the critiques that a philosopher like Rorty makes, especially critiques of a generalized deism as such, or certain forms of fundamentalism.

What I find unfortunate, however, is that it appears that theology has never made inroads with philosophers of Rorty's variety, and this probably precisely because of the "liberal theology" so many criticize. Once we go down the road of liberal theology (and I'm over-generalizing), I think something like Rorty's secularism is the logical outcome.

But there is one key theological insight lacking in this equation, and it is the key insight that keeps me a Christian, and keeps me confessing the faith.

Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

I wonder if Rorty ever read much Christology? Paul's acknowledgment that Christ crucified is a stumbling block is spot on, but it seems that most of modern theology hasn't even gotten in the road to stumble anyone.

It is simply the case that our theology starts and ends with Christ, and inasmuch as a supposed Christian culture has failed to confess this, preferring instead some form of general religiosity, we have failed to proclaim Christ and him crucified. "We proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" has largely disappeared from the public Christian confession.

Or maybe I'm too dismal here. Anyway, that's my take.

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