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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review of Barry Harvey's 'Taking Hold of the Real'

A Look at Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Theology

Harvey writes "Bonhoeffer is seeking to find a way to indicate that the life and language of the church do not operate at the margins of life ... but impinge upon the practices, habits, and relationships that occur 'in the center of the village'" (p.261, Kindle Fire version).

Harvey uses a variety of metaphors and categories to demonstrate that Dietrich Bonhoeffer rejected a two-story version of history that separates the Godly sphere and the earthly.  Rather, Bonhoeffer sees all of history and every aspect of life under God's sovereign rule.  And Christianity must function within the world, not separate from it.

I think that's Harvey's final point and if I am right, then I am greatly enthused because in my work as a pastor, I strive to locate faith "in the center of the village."

I say, "I think," because I had real trouble following the flow of Harvey's writing.  He's an academic as far I can tell, and so his book is a challenging.  But, the challenge is worth it.  We have so much to learn about God from Bonhoeffer, and Harvey is a good teacher even if his method is couched in academic terminology.  

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