LeRon Shults is a Professor of Theology at Agder University in Norway (he blogs here). LeRon also recently joined the Presbymergent community with an initial introduction post here. I first met LeRon at the 2005 Emergent Convention in Nashville, and have been impressed with him and his writings in theology and relationality.
I recently ran across an article he wrote for the upcoming 2007 Emergent
Theological Philosophical Conversation at Eastern University with John Caputo and Richard Kearney. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go, but I think it will be great gathering. The article is entitled “Why is the Emerging Church drawn to Deconstructive Theology?” It is a wonderful article, and very in line, I think, with much of what Pete Rollins does with apophatic theology in his book “How (Not) to Speak of God.”
He says that “Emergent Types” are drawn to deconstructive theology for 3 reasons:
“First, deconstruction not only accepts but embraces the category of difference…Second, deconstructive epistemology (or hermeneutics) calls for humility within the search for knowledge…Finally, deconstruction is surprising. We do not know ahead of time exactly what will emerge when we begin the process of interrogating our beliefs and the practices that shape our interpretations.”
I think that many of these reasons are the same ones that initially drew me to a more apophatic understanding of theology and faith. Humility is a trait so needed in our world where so many claim 100 percent certainty far too often. And I like the idea of being surprised by theology, not being sure where it’s going to take us.
I don’t think we should just deconstruct, deconstruct, deconstruct…without doing any reconstruction. But I think that deconstructive theology and philosophy is an important step to coming to a new understanding of theology.
Check out the article here.