Kresta in the Afternoon – July 8, 2020 – Hour 2

+  Kresta Comments: Avoid the Spin

  • Description: The two dominant stories of the last several months have been the pandemic and debates over racism and police brutality following the murder of George Floyd. In both cases, both sides of the debate have used their own spin to obscure the actual discussion. Al takes a look.
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+  Understanding von Balthasar (2 segments)

  • Description: June 26 marked the death of Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the more significant – yet controversial – theologians of the 20th century. Matthew Levering, who credits von Balthasar for his own conversion to the Church, gives us an introduction to the man’s work.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Matthew Levering
      Matthew Levering is the author of many books, most recently The Achievement of Hans Urs von Balthasar: An Introduction to His Trilogy. He holds the James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology at Mundelein Seminary and is a longtime participant in Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Among his many other books are An Introduction to Vatican II and Proofs of God: Classical Arguments from Tertullian to Barth.
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    • The Achievement of Hans Urs von Balthasar: An Introduction to His Trilogy

      In The Achievement of Hans Urs von Balthasar, Matthew Levering has written a book for theologically educated readers who mistrust von Balthasar or who mistrust von Balthasar's critics. The book shows that von Balthasar's critics can and should benefit both from the rich and wide-ranging conversations that mark his trilogy and from the critical and constructive engagement with German philosophical modernity offered by the trilogy. In addition, Levering hopes to show that those who mistrust von Balthasar's critics need to be more Balthasarian in their response to criticisms of the Swiss theologian. In this introductory volume, the focus is on the first volume of each part of the trilogy. This approach exhibits the main lines of von Balthasar's trilogy in a way that allows for an introductory volume of manageable size. This approach also avoids the more controversial volumes of the trilogy. Reading von Balthasar with the goal of engaging his more controversial views is certainly justifiable, but in an introductory book, the danger is that some readers could miss the forest due to their opposition to some of the trees. The Achievement of Hans Urs von Balthasar contributes to the healing of the internecine conflicts that, since the 1930s or earlier, have pitted Ressourcement theologians and Thomistic theologians against each other with grave consequences for the health of Catholic theology. Despite sharing a strong belief in the faithful mediation of divine revelation through Scripture and the Church, many Catholic theologians today find themselves at loggerheads with each other. Easily forgotten by the Ressourcement and Thomistic combatants is their shared commitment to the theo-aesthetic beauty, theo-dramatic goodness, and theo-logical truth of Christ's revelation of Trinitarian self-surrendering love as our source and supernatural goal, and their shared rejection of philosophical modernity's immanentism, historicism, and power-centered voluntarism. The present book seeks to highlight these shared commitments, while leaving room for disagreement about von Balthasar's specific positions and approaches. (learn more)

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