It is the worst of times to be a Christian theologian; it is the best of
times to be a Christian theologian. That both claims are true is apparent
by the fact that most people in America, Christian and non-Christian
alike, could care less whether this is a good or bad time to be a theo-
logian. Theology
a ghetto activity as insulated and uninteresting as
the Saturday religion pages of the local paper. God knows, it is hard
to make God boring, but American Christians, aided and abetted by
theologians, have accomplished that feat.
Yet I love theology since I find nothing more exciting than the sub-
ject of theology, that is, the truthful worship of God. Moreover, it is
a wonderful time to be a theologian. No matter how hard theologians
may try to be "good academics," they will be suspect among those
who populate the more established "disciplines." The study of rocks by
geologists is legitimate, but God just does not seem to be an appro-
priate subject to constitute a respectable discipline in the contemporary
university. Which creates a wonderful opportunity for those of us who
remain theologians. Since we are never going to make it as academics,
or anything else, we might as well have fun.
By fun, I mean that we do not have to be constrained by the "nor-
malizing" character
of most academic subjects in the contemporary
university. The university exists, and the academic disciplines that con-
stitute it exist, to underwrite the presumption that the way things are
is the way they have to be. Yet Christians are schooled by a discourse
that trains us to recognize the contingent character of
is. Accord-
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