Sunday, June 20, 2004

the open space


dallas has inspired me. i want to get back to some basics. i plan to read thru the new testamant and note every passage that references one of these three concepts.

if anyone else might be so inclined, it would be helpful to compare notes. i have no idea how long it will take me to finish - may be a while.

why is it then when i write that, i immediately feel that i'm speaking medieval latin in the emerging church community? is it just me? reading the bible doesn't have to be a sign of knee-jerk fundamentalism. i realize that many readers would agree with this but are you like me to feel that sometimes you can't even say "the old words" or simply quote scripture 'cause it seems so uncool and of no worth? and surely it can be done in a way that's uncool; i'm not denying that.

one thing I do intend to do to keep this study from being, frankly, just a modern enterprise (i.e. uncool) - is to read in what my dear late friend jon gold used to call "the open space" (dr. gold, a professional philosopher, died just under a year ago; he was one of the first 'mappers and helped us to formulate "transpropositionality", a term actually intimately connected with the concept of "open space").

one of the most stimulating passages of jon gold's writing where he talks about "the open space" is his comments on a Thomas Torrance passage in Reality and Evangelical Theology: A Fresh and Challenging Approach to Christian Revelation. (in finding this link, i'm sad to find that this thought-provoking book is out of print though used copies are still availabe through

jon wrote,

"He describes what I call the open space where beyond all our conceptuality and propositionalism, we may meet the Living God in newness in every encounter and be open to Him as He opens us to receive Him in all kinds of ways, in His quiet and loving and powerful presence, and also in receiving from Him, His modifications of our conceptuality
and propositions, including our present understanding of Scripture, to bring us more into correspondence with Himself. The open, where naked but in the trust of the Lord Jesus who is our advocate and friend before the Father who chose us in our advocate and friend, we are brought on His time table, more and more in line with His being, in the ways that He wants to accomplish in us and with us and through us!"

all of jon's wide-ranging comments on Torrance's book can be found here. jon also explanded on these comments here and, briefly, here.

even before he joined forever, i had found jon's posts so helpful that i indexed them (see especially jon's comments on barth, epistemology, existential foundations, foundationalism, fundamentalism, heidegger, maritain, propositional knowledge, propositionalism, scripture, torrance, transpropositionality, and wittgenstein) and throughout our personal and 'mapper correspondendences i kept a running bibliography of books which he recommended and mentioned.

i'll share some thoughts here on "saved", "repent", and "kingdom" when i'm done and/or as i'm going thru all the nt material. again, if you'd like to do the same, it might lead to some interesting conversation here or in the faithmaps discussion group.


Anonymous said...

stephen, what a great idea! i would join you but i'm lazy. ;-) regardless, let me know how things progress. take care, s

Stephen said...

i'd be happy to! who are you?

Shari said...

dmmbsyp. -- s.h. or r.c.h. or l.r.