David Bentley Hart (heretofore: DBH) was one of my first professors of theology back when I was a college student at UVA. He was just completing his PhD whilst I had about 24 months of being a Christian under my belt.
I took 3 of his classes.
I had no idea of what he was talking about 93% of the time.
He didn’t betray any indication that he cared even 1%.
I was hooked 100%.
Standing in front of a huge wave that knocks you on your ass on the beach, you get up realizing the ocean is a whole hell of a lot bigger than you thought.
That’s how I felt with DBH. He left me feeling for aches, knowing the Christian intellectual tradition is richer, deeper and broader than I could imagine.
Reading DBH’s The Beauty of the Infinite back in 2005- quite literally- changed my (theological) life. My ordination papers that year read today like poorly plagiarized DBH’s frenetic, over-wrought writing style.
Having since devoured all his books and read his most recent twice, I thought it was a good time to blog my sophomore turn through his opus.
For those of you who will about DBH as I did back in the day, I offer you these $$$ quotes:
“Only if the form of Christ can be lived out in the community of the Church is the confession of the Church true; only if Christ can be practiced is Jesus Lord.”
“Christian thought has claimed from the first that in a world in bondage to sin, where violence holds sway over hearts and history, the peace of God made present in Christ is unique; the way, the truth, and the life.”
“Christ is a persuasion, a form evoking desire, and the whole force of the gospel depends upon the assumption that this persuasion is also peace.”
“If indeed God became a man, then Truth condescended to become a truth.”
“Postmodern IS a meta-narrative, the story of no more stories, so told as to determine definitively how much may or may not be said intelligibly by others who have stories to tell…The truth of no truths becomes, inevitably, truth: a way of being, language, and culture that guards the boundaries of thought against claims it has not validated.”