This book was read as part of the NavPress blogger review programme:
Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life
by Ed Czyewski
NavPress, 2008, 231pp
Ed Cycewski is concerned that in doing theology we admit to our own cultural conditioning. We each have a perspective that we bring to the table. That much I agree with. However, I am going to be pretty critical of this book.
At best this book argues that we need other Christians from other perspectives to help us realise our own blinkers. At worst this book suggests that though there may be truth intended by God in inspired Scripture, it is essentially unknowable, and we are merely bobbing around at the mercy of the swift-moving current of culture.
In the end I felt like I was reading the recipe of a liberal on how to “just get along”. It reminded me of these awful Lent study groups that I have participated in where people are more interested in their own opinions than in what God the Spirit has given us in the text of Scripture. But “it’s lovely that we’re meeting together”. There is much practical advice about accessing resources in this book but little discernment about what is good.
And there is the rub. The issue is not really that everyone has their own perspective. It is whether we really believe that when God spoke in Scripture he really meant what he was saying and that he meant us to understand it. There may be many perspectives, but we must believe that God was single minded in authoring Scripture. I have met too many Christians in study groups where they seem incapable of examining the text before them. I understand from missionaries that this is a common problem amongst Christians in other cultures. There is much talk of the Lord speaking and leading, but little interaction with the text before them.
Unfortunately, this book does not help. It is muddled in its fundamental premise. Hence it is of extremely limited value to the believer eager to know God.