Thursday, July 3, 2008

On the passing of an age

If we are permitted to juxtapose the remarks of Jeffrey Stout regarding an exchange between William Alston and Frederick Will over foundationalism onto current exchanges involving those evangelicals who want to keep "inerrancy" but qualify its meaning and those evangelicals who think it's time to jettison the dogma, one can surmise that the exchanges themselves admit the passing of an age:

"Alston executes what Bloom would call a tessera, by so reading the precursor's work as to retain its terms but to mean them in another sense, 'as though the precursor had failed to go far enough.'...Minimal foundationalism is more like Tillichian theology: the former is to the philosophy of Descartes what the latter is to the Christianity of Aquinas. Both try so hard to say something unobjectionable that they become indistinguishable from their opponents. Both use traditional vocabulary now emptied of content. Both practice conversation by redefinition. Both signal the passing of an age." (The Flight from Authority, [University of Notre Dame Press, 1981], 35-36.)