Theology & The University

“War is the continuation of politics by other means.”

General Carl Von Clausewitz
German war theoretician 

As RJR notes in the quote below the same is true of Theology and all other disciplines. Every other discipline that can be named among the Humanities is just the continuation of theology by other means. This is why Theology was once understood to be the Queen of the Sciences. Our forbears understood that conclusions arrived at in the other humanities were only as good as the theology from which they were drawing.

Indeed, this understanding of Theology as the “Queen of the Sciences” is where we get our whole idea of “University.” The word “University” etymologically derives from the idea of “the whole,” or “the aggregate.” The idea was, in the midst of the various multifaceted disciplines offered and studied at a University there was a “Uni” that bound all the disciplines together. That “Uni” in “University” is Theology. Without theology as “Queen of the Sciences,” one no longer has a “University” but only a “Multiversity.”

The fact that we have given up Christian theology as “The Queen of the Sciences” goes a long way towards explaining the irrational age which we inhabit. Since we have no unifying glue to hold us together all that is left is the bizarre and the irrational.

Consider also, how modern Western man’s habit of compartmentalized thinking also is derivative of the refusal to have Christian theology be the “Queen of the Sciences.” Modern man is schizophrenic. He is a centripetal being. There is nothing that keeps him from the most strange and queer contradictions in his life. For example, modern man will, at one and the same time, espouse evolution and then turn around and attend church on Sunday. Modern man will complain about the Government and then keep on voting as if his vote will change what it has not changed for over a century. Modern man will see the modern woman for the feminist being she currently is and yet will still propose marriage. Modern man is a contradictory mess and that is largely accounted for, by the fact that he refuses to take Christian theology as the “Queen of the Sciences.”

What is interesting, though despite all the above being true, is that theology is an inescapable category, which means, that when man flushes Christian theology as the “Uni” in his “University” he doesn’t by doing so get rid of theology. Instead, he embraces something else has his theology. Marxists embrace Economics as their theology. Many moderns embrace “Science” as their theology, not realizing that that Science is only as good as the theology it is pinned upon. Cultural Marxists have, perhaps more insightfully than the rest, chosen culture as their theology. (More insightfully, I offer, because of the tight nexus that exists between culture and theology.) The point is that one never completely evacuates some kind of theology as the adhesive that is the sticking agency for something that passes as a pastiche of coherence for all the particulars.

As an aside all of this underscores again why R2K is such a stupid incoherent theology, arguing as it does, that there is no such thing as Christian law, or Christian Education, or Christian culture, etc. R2K strips Christianity of its fixative social order functioning and replaces it with the irrationality of a social order based on a “natural theology” that has only successfully existed when Christianity has dominated the culture.

Sociology, Literature, Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, Law, … all of it is just so much the continuation of theology by other means. If and when people ever come to grips with that truth, it will make conversation a good deal easier.

We end with the great Rushdoony making the same point.

“An abstract theology is only formally or technically systematic. Systematic theology must of necessity deny because God is sovereign, that there are any neutral facts or any areas of neutrality. All factuality is God-created and God-governed and interpreted. All facts are therefore theological facts, and every area of life, thought, study, and action is a theological concern.

Education, politics, science, the arts, the vocations, the family, and all things else, are theological concerns. A theology which does not involve itself in every area in terms of the sovereign God and His infallible law-word cannot be systematic: it is only abstract.”

 

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling.

I am postmillennial in my eschatology.
Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity
Reformed in my Soteriology
Presuppositional in my apologetics
Kinist in my family theology
Agrarian in my regional community social order belief
Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief
Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic
Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern
Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview
One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics
Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place

Some of my favorite authors,

Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc.

My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture .

Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

2 thoughts on “Theology & The University”

  1. Enjoyed this piece also. I spent much of my youth and 20s in IFB churches. As I began to study the scriptures four or years ago, I began to seeing the incoherence of much of what I had been taught.
    I now hold to the 5 points of the T.U.L.I.P. and am working out the rest of it slowly.Your statement on mental compartmentalization is quite accurate. The works of Michael Bunker, specifically “Surviving Off Off-Grid” and “Modern Religious Idols” introduced me to the concept of modern man being a mentally fractured creature who illogically embraces parts instead of wholes. Bunker is one of the writers who helped guide me to the truth on God’s sovereignty, and to leave my old IFB church. Regrettably, there are no true churches in my immediate area that I am aware of, which I see you recently posted about thew dearth of truth preaching pulpits.

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