Hey all. My review of D. Stephen Long’s Speaking of God: Theology, Language, and Truth is up at The Other Journal. Yes. I just reviewed the book of one of my professors. Apparently I have an academic death wish? Truth be told, I found it very helpful. Below is my first and concluding paragraphs:
Modern philosophers and historians were convinced of the death of metaphysics; they buried questions of existence and being deep in the grave. But according to D. Stephen Long, author of Speaking of God, even their proofs for this death borrowed from clear metaphysical assumptions, and so Long is neither surprised by the resurgence of metaphysics nor unprepared to explore its many relationships with other disciplines, particularly language, philosophy, theology, and politics. In Speaking of God, Long has fashioned a refreshing examination of these subject matters, specifically addressing reason and faith, philosophy and theology, power and truth, and metaphysics and politics. He pursues questions of reason and faith, and then, in the face of a hermeneutics of pure negation and a flat metaphysics, he argues for a richer, deeper Christian life, a flourishing life nourished by the search for truth.
In conclusion, Speaking of God is an incredibly helpful read; it is a book of which I am skeptically appreciative. And although it may dissatisfy us with several of its undeveloped implications, it is convincing in its primary aim, which is to make readers of theology take metaphysics more seriously. This is especially an important work for readers interested in metaphysics, language, theology, and politics. And one thing is certain, the seemingly myriad critiques of contemporary postliberalism must now go through this work. But, however, the book goes beyond the boundaries of an apologetic for postliberalism. Indeed, if Long is right about the return to metaphysics and about the close link between metaphysics and politics, this book will be vital for much of contemporary theology, and as such it merits a wide reading.