Postliberal stumbling block

Here is where I hit a speed bump with George Lindbeck:

Thus the linguistic-cultural model is part of an outlook that stresses the degree to which human experience is shaped, molded, and in a sense constituted by cultural and linguistic forms. There are numberless thoughts we cannot think, sentiments we cannot have, and realities we cannot perceive unless we learn to use the appropriate symbol systems. … to become religious involves becoming skilled in the language, the symbol system, of a given religion. To become a Christian involves learning the story of Israel and of Jesus well enough to interpret and experience oneself and one’s world in its terms. (emphasis added)

The quote above from his book The Nature of Doctrine highlights the language-liked aspects of religion.

What does postliberal or narrative theology mean for people with limited language or no language?

I don’t think this question falls any more sharply on postliberal theology than cognitive-propositional theology or experiential-expressive theology. But postliberalism is quite persuasive to a lot of people. Who does it exclude from the ranks of the religious?

More fundamentally, does being non-religious mean the same thing as non-Christian?


6 thoughts on “Postliberal stumbling block

  1. If that is your question (and I think it’s a good one), I recommend Medi Volpe’s new book “Rethinking Christian Identity: Doctrine and Discipleship” from Blackwell press. Medi’s oldest child has Downs Syndrome, and she asks the very same question of George Lindbeck, Rowan Williams, and John Milbank. She finally comes down on the side of Gregory of Nyssa as having all the benefits of Lindbeck without that nagging sense of exclusion.

  2. “More fundamentally, does being non-religious mean the same thing as non-Christian? “

    That depends on how one defines religion
    If religion is understood to be:
    the service and worship of God or the supernatural
    commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
    a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
    archaic : scrupulous conformity :
    a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith ( Webster)

    Than I would say the answer is yes.
    One requirement of religion is a belief in God.
    In the Christian Faith it is belief in a specific God.

    If one says they are Christian there are certain principles and procedures they are commanded by God to do and not do. “
    “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” is a command.
    It is not a request.

    Religiosi is understood (in general) to mean concerned with the things of God.
    If one is non-religious the person would be considered non- religiosi or not concerned with the things of God.

    Modern culture has re-defined what the word religion means, is and looks likes.
    In doing so many have redefined what is and is not Christian.
    It is up to the individual and their personal preference that decides what religion is or is not and the demand is all definitions and understandings be accepted as valid.
    The liberals (all forms) would reject part or all of this post.

  3. The word “liberal” is associated with liberty and freedom which is very attractive.
    The word “religion” is associated with conformity. Not so attractive.
    Some form of the word “free” is used 62 times from the book of Acts to Revelations.
    The appeal of liberty must have been understood by the apostles.
    The “free from sin” understanding has been replaced with free to sin.

    1. You touch on the way we have to be careful in explaining our words. People hear the word “free” and something different than that.

  4. I read you next thread on “crypt keepers’
    That is a good example of the use of words that really tell us nothing.
    The only thing gleamed from the post is the woman does not like tradition.
    She really tells us nothing
    What doctrine does she refer to?
    What ways?

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