In my most recent post on Tillich’s doctrine of God, one of my undergrad professors made a concise and insightful comment regarding the relationship between philosophy and theology. I thought that it was so good it deserved a separate post. Regarding using philosophy in theological work he writes:
As for alien philosophy: If we want to communicate with our contemporaries, we can’t help using the philosophical categories and presuppositions we share with them. The danger of Tillich’s method of correlation is compromise. The danger of rejecting the method of correlation is irrelevance.
I think that there are some serious things in this statement for prospective theologians (like myself) to think about. One has to admit that in America at least, Tillich was a “popular” theologian in the mainstream culture. However, i think the cost was too great in his work.
So, does abandoning the method of correlation used by Tillich doom one to relevance only in academic ivory towers (or blogs)? Must we engage philosophy, and how do we do so?