Leithart has been posting some great stuff lately (where does he find the time?), obviously inspired by his reading of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy. One of his recent posts ably makes a point that I have often tried to make, with less success.
I and many of my friends have been criticized for our supposed lack theological rigor. It’s meant as an insult. I take it as a compliment.
Rigor has its place. But it’s not the be and end all of theology. A Turretin is necessary for consolidating a Reformation. He could never have started a Reformation.
Fresh insights are always un-rigorous. They always come in a flash of intuition, not through brick-by-brick systematization. They always come as a blinding light from heaven, an open door to paradise, a strange warming of the heart. Rigor is always a late-comer. Lack of rigor might be a sign of laziness and falsehood. But it might just as well be a sign of vitality and truth.
Read the complete post here. In my experience, all of my greatest insights have been arrived at in a very un-rigourous fashion. My present theological understanding is the product, not of some sort of rigourous theological calculus, but is closer to that which results from finally ‘seeing’ a Magic Eye picture. Explaining my theological understanding to others can be difficult. In most cases all that you can do is encourage people to keep on looking and try to direct them in the best ways in which to look, in the hope that one day they will ‘see’ it too. This, I appreciate, makes my writing often appear un-rigourous, a pastiche of theological impressionism that could never survive outside of the overly-forgiving atmosphere of the blogosphere. However, I am convinced that if my writing and thinking were characterized chiefly by rigour I would find it hard to convey precisely that which I most want to convey.