OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
Sorry to interrupt your labours…
1. Perhaps the issue with propositions and context then is what is done with the contextualization once
meaning has been established. Does the statement remain more or less contextualized, restricted in its scope and
application by the argumentative setting (postmodern)? Or do we feel that we have reason or obligation to generalize
from the particular to the universal (modern)? In any case, I wouldn’t say that drawing on ‘modernist’ approaches to
truth is necessarily a step backwards. What I think we are looking for is a better interplay between language and
reality, between text and context, between narrative and history. That interplay is compromised if we are too anxious,
too hasty, to draw general or absolute conclusions. It is for me a matter of integrity that we acknowledge that
particularity, the narrowness, the oddity, of our belief system among the countless other belief systems that flourish
in western society. It is the belief system that we have chosen - or that has chosen us.
2. I suppose this could appear as internally contradictory, but I want to say that we need to claim only that this is
an overarching narrative for the community of believers - and even then on the basis not primarily of assent to
propositional truth but of having been determined by covenant and history. I tell the story confidently because I have
confidence in the God who has made me part of the story. Why should someone who does not feel herself to have been
invited into that story want to tell the story as though it were true? That would be intellectually dishonest. At
the heart of this epistemology is not reason or rationality but ‘election’ or ‘vocation’.