The Incarnate Ground of Christian Faith: Toward a Christian Theological Epistemology for the Educational Ministry of the Church
- Publish Date: 1998-10-22
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Robert K. Martin
The Incarnate Ground of Christian Faith is addressed precisely to the epistemological questions posed by postmodernity. It begins by issuing an extended critique of one of the major approaches to pastoral theology and Christian educationThomas Groome's Shared Praxis Approach. Martin's incisive analysis of shared praxis concludes that its implicit subjectivism and pedagogical narrowness cannot lend intellectual plausibility to the Christian faith among a postmodern generation. For an alternative vision of a holistic and plausible faith, Martin points in a different direction, to an incarnational epistemology in which science and theology discover deep resonance in each other. The main features of this epistemological framework are developed by integrating the perspectives of scientist/philosopher Michael Polanyi and theologian Thomas F. Torrance. The resulting synthesis preserves the integrity of science and theology as distinct yet inherently related ways of making sense of the world, the purpose of which is to participate more fully in the world. The main thrust of the book is that a vibrant faith incarnationally grounded in experience and clarified theologically intensifies personal and social expressions of ecclesial life. In the midst of widespread confusion, conflict, and oppression in contemporary societies, Christians' faith in and commitment to the church's sacramental ministry of love and reconciliation could not be in greater demand.