Wednesday 16 February 2011

Adam C. English on Christianity as Story, Game, Language, Culture

Adam C. English, Theology Remixed: Christianity as Story, Game, Language, Culture (Downers Grove: IVP, 2010), 208pp. ISBN 9780830838745.

Excerpt here.

‘The contention of this book is simple: the best way to understand what Christianity is is to find out what it is like, to compare it to things with which we are familiar. To the question, What is Christianity?, this book responds: the question needs to be answered by means of images, similes, comparisons and analogies’ (25).

Recognising the imperfect nature of analogies, an the importance of treading lightly, Adam English borrows ‘from four different fields in an attempt to present four different analogies’ (21):

1. ‘Christianity is like a story – with scenery, characters and plots – that reaches its climax in the person of Jesus the Christ, the main character who ties the plot together and gives it meaning.’

2. ‘Christianity is like a language, with all the features and peculiarities thereof. We articulate the faith best when we learn the correct vocabulary and grammar to carry out the conversation.’

3. ‘Christianity is like a game, with rules, players, goals and equipment for play. Each of these elements carries with it its own implications for the practice of the Christian faith.’

4. ‘Christianity is like a culture, in that it presents a distinct way of living, working, playing, worshiping, marrying and caring for the dead. Like a culture it is community based, and, also like a culture, it is learned through the long process of cultivation.’

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