With previous post, we completed our review of the first two parts of John Stackhouse’s Making the Best of It: Following Christ in the Real World. Part I (Chapter 1) was a review of Richard Niebuhr’s five part typology from Christ and Culture. Part II (Chapters 2-4) offered some resources for thinking about Christian realism in the form of a review of three twentieth-century theologians: C. S. Lewis, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Now we turn to the final section, Part III (Chapters 5-8), “Making the Best of It."
In some ways, the first two parts of the book could function as one book and the third part as another book. Stackhouse declares at the beginning of Part III that he is not going to present us with, say, some “corrected” version of Reinhold Niebuhr’s Christian realism ... or directly engage these resources in developing a new version. Then why include the first two parts if he is not going to directly engage them?
Stackhouse also employ’s Albert Einstein’s dictum that we should simply as far as possible – and not farther. We must put things in categories but oversimplification is a real danger in ethics. I really appreciated this paragraph.
So what are Stackhouse’s views? We will begin that next week with a look at Chapter 5, “Method in Ethics.”