More Haste, Less Speed in Theology

The time allowed the church and its theology is a time in which the believer must find it intolerable that some men and women have no idea of the reasons for hope. It is not first and foremost a time for the blessedness of believing or for silent adoration. It is a time for speaking, with no right of holding back. Yet it is also a time in which the believer is authorized to search for the right words to say what must be said, a time in which the impatience of proclamation does not militate against patient application to the labours of thought and expression. This is of first importance [...]

Theological thought is born of wonder and occupies itself in thanksgiving. Yet these self-evident facts should not conceal the very specific interest in knowledge that drives theology forward in the time allowed it. Before it gives delight, it confronts us as a labor thrust upon us, a discourse that we take up not because we choose but because we are constrained. That it is a task, and a difficult one, is not surprising in itself; that is true of philosophy and mathematics, too. In this case, however, there is more: theological speech, before it ever came to be a specialist province, sprang from the elementary logic of theological life itself. The task of theology cannot really be understood apart from its roots in the prophetic dimension of universal Christian experience (p. 268).

Jean-Yves Lacoste, “More Haste, Less Speed in Theology”, Translated by Oliver O’Donovan. International Journal of Systematic Theology Vol. 9/No.3 (July 2007). Emphasis mine.

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