This coming Thursday, April 19, I will be participating in a public discussion with a liberal theologian, Eleazar Fernandez, at United Theological Seminary. The title for the event is, "Can We Talk? An Evangelical and a Liberal Discuss Jesus Christ" (or something along those lines). I have had a preliminary discussion with Eleazar in which I found him to be not quite as "liberal" as the structure of our topic suggests. While Eleazar has been strongly influenced by liberation theology, and the somewhat related "metaphorical theology" of Sallie MacFague, he promotes to his students what he calls the "passionate core" of Christianity. He calls for a revitalizing of the particularity of Christian language and an authentic, transformative response to Christ within the liberal tradition. Furthermore, Eleazar suggests that he does not fear using the language of exclusivity in regards to Jesus Christ. I'm sure. I sense in his theology, thus far, affinity with postliberal theology (ala George Lindbeck and Stanley Hauerwas). Similarly, while I stand clearly within the evangelical tradition (as some will note, "whatever that means!"), I identify myself more with postconservatism than with traditional conservative evangelical theology. Exploring these horizons could lead to a very interesting dialogue. We both (Eleazar and I) suspect this will not be a debate so much as an intriguing, and hopefully constructive, dialogue. The primary points of difference will likely come down to a nuanced differentiation regarding points of epistemology and hermeneutics (e.g. notions of truth and authority).
I am wondering if any of you have thoughts, suggestions, or predictions regarding this upcoming conversation?
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