My editor at IVP Academic recently interviewed me and my coauthor, David Buschart, about our book coming out later this spring, Theology as Retrieval: Receiving the Past, Renewing the Church. For just about any author, “What are you writing about?” is a standard, polite question. But it’s a difficult one to answer. How do you capture the essence of your book without overstaying your welcome? I know the glazed look which signals the end of my polite questioner’s interest!
Reid: How did the idea for this book arise?
Buschart: We share a mutual interest in and commitment to doing theology with and for the church. Individually and then in collaboration, we were struck by the contemporary flourishing of retrieval in both the academy and the church. We found ourselves powerfully drawn into this combination, this convergence. Having observed the trend, we were surprised a book-length study had not been done and eager to explore it together.
Reid: You have selected six areas look at: theological interpretation of Scripture, Trinitarian theology, worship, spirituality, mission and cosmos. Why these?
Buschart: These are not the only areas currently being informed by retrieval. For example, we also observed retrieval with respect to soteriology, race and anthropology. We decided to focus on the six in the book because they appear to be the ones in which the most substantive and robust retrievals are currently taking place. They are also areas that readily manifest connections between theological retrieval and the church.
Reid: I found the chapter on Radical Orthodoxy (RO) very interesting. How did you decide on including it?
Eilers: Radical Orthodoxy is clearly a retrieval project but not one easily pinned down—it is highly diverse and its literature is voluminous. Nonetheless, including it created two unique opportunities for us. Continue reading