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Purpose Directed Theology

April 5, 2013

Purpose Directed Theology by Darrell Brock (InterVarsity Press, 2002) is subtitled Getting Our Priorities Right In Evangelical Controversies. It was originally a faculty workshop at Dallas Theological Society and the again as the presidential address for the Evangelical Theological Society. It carries a whisper of the free and easy presentation of the spoken word throughout. The chapter titles clearly lay out the developing themes and the helpful metaphors that are the great value of the book. Chapter 3 WHERE WE STAND TODAY is built on the concept of different types of organizations within the evangelical movement. Churches and specific confessional are different than “public square” institutions like publishers, schools, and para church ministries and should be judged or evaluated by very different doctrinal standards of specificity. This allows for unity in collaboration for the purpose of engaging the culture. Chapter 5 is a case study of how this model can be applied in the “Openness of God” debate specifically or any theological dispute in the future. It is  loving, Biblical, practical and allows for the wrestling with new and initially unpopular theological positions. Of specific interest was the call to never rush to judgement but deliberatly explore, interact and discuss new ideas rather than to automatically assume the worst of new ideas. The theme of all the book is summed up on page 110, “My ultimate hope is that more of our energy will be directed to affirming, affecting and improving our relationships with each other as we together face a massively large, lost world. This is a well presented argument for mature theological reflection, it is a model and a call we all need to heed for God’s Glory and the health of the Church.

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