Kathryn Tanner on the risks of Christian discourse
“The problems of Christian practice that prompt theological reflection are legion. If we narrow them down to those that afflict religious discourse, it is possible to give a rough classification of them. First, Christians may exhibit a tendency to mis-speak: they may make statements whose well-formed character or Christian authenticity is a matter for dispute. Second, they may deploy well-formed Christian statements inappropriately. Third, they may be unsure how to speak, how to continue the practice of Christian discourse, in strange or novel circumstances. Fourth, they may make Christian statements whose well-formed character is undisputed and yet fail to understand how those statements are compatible with one another. In all four cases, Christian discourse begins to sputter; theological reflection becomes necessary as a result.”
from God and Creation in Christian Theology: Tyranny or Empowerment? (Blackwell, 1988), 17.