About the Author

For readers curious about who’s behind this blog, this is for you.

I’m a student of theology. My studies started back in my high school days. One year I’d been assigned to read C. S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet. Little did I know how formative an experience this would prove to be for me. Prior to this assignment I didn’t care much for reading. Lewis singlehandedly and irreversibly changed this for me.

Not much later my attention turned to the original 16th century Protestant reformers. Once again my reading habits changed. I was finding myself gripped by a richer conversation than I had yet encountered. Soon enough I had read myself into evangelical Calvinism.

Then came college and seminary. First I moved to Santa Barbara, CA to study theology and philosophy at Westmont College. There a steady diet of Lesslie Newbigin, Richard Hays, and Robert Wilken, among others, cooled my Calvinist fever (though not my respect and gratitude for the tradition). Random browsing in Voskuyl Library also introduced me to Gerhard Forde, Robert Jenson, Gilbert Meilaender, Paul Holmer, and George Lindbeck. Sure enough, I found a home in the Lutheran, postliberal and evangelical catholic sensibilities these theologians modeled for me. And it’s been a home I’ve gladly inhabited since these undergraduate days. After college, seminary took me out to New Jersey, where I happened upon a yet-broader array of theological orientations, furthering my appreciation for the expanses of theology’s landscape. Three of the welcome discoveries from this period, made when browsing the halls of Luce Library, were the dependably sensible voices of Austin Farrer, Nicholas Lash, and Charles Wood.

Now I study at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. These days my principal interests revolve broadly around the legacies of Martin Luther and Ludwig Wittgenstein. My only aim with this blog is to share some of the more formative lessons I’ve picked up so far. These may take the form of quotes, reading suggestions, book reviews, sermons, or any other ideas I come up with. I should tell you upfront that, as I’ve been trained to pursue theology, the venture remains truest to its Lord and its vocation when it aims at re-humanizing its students. Be patient with its discipline, and God only knows what ministries of reconciliation and responsibility you’ll be equipped for.

I pray you’ll take the invitation.

L. L. Wilmoth

7 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Dean

    How coincidental–I go to the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. I’m currently taking a course on Wittgenstein and Religious Language taught by Ron Kuipers–it’s a great class, and Ron is a wonderful scholar. You ought to stop by ICS sometime! You’re able to take classes there via TST.

    Reply
    1. llwilmoth Post author

      Thanks, Dean. I’m aware of the course you’re describing. And I’d have taken it too if I weren’t already in another class at the same time.

      Reply
      1. Dean

        Ah, that’s too bad.

        I would still recommend Ron Kuipers’ courses in general if you get the chance; he’s got a great perspective and is a good educator. He works primarily in the intersections of pragmatist philosophy and Christian theology.

        Reply
  2. Austin Starr

    how does Wittgenstein fit in with Christian theology, in your opinion? I know he had a kind of battlefield conversion when he encountered Tolstoy’s works during his service in the infantry in WWI. But I’d be very curious to hear why you like him (I adore him) and how he fits in with your belief (I assume you do, forgive me if I’m wrong) in Jesus Christ.

    Reply
    1. llwilmoth Post author

      Thanks for your question. Your assumptions were right on: I am both a Christian and a fellow reader of Wittgenstein. So to your question, how does Wittgenstein fit into Christian theology? In short, I think it’s his Philosophical Investigations that’s of theological interest. There might be some Wittgenstein scholars who are curious about Wittgenstein’s personal religious faith, but I think that line of inquiry is beside the point. The evidence is clear enough that he was neither a Christian nor a theologian. I think that’s also why even some of his explicit remarks on religion are better taken with a large grain of salt. What I find more helpful are his general philosophical sensibilities and aims. When they are extended to the study of religion, I find there are faith-affirming lessons to be learned. For one example, theologians who read Wittgenstein should have a clearer idea of why it’s important for theologians to draw on theological categories when articulating their interests and assigning their tasks. They should leave Wittgenstein with a little more confidence in the adequacy of their own discipline to study its subject matter (though that’s not to say that theologians wouldn’t have the means to find this confidence apart from his help). There’s more to be said to address your question, but I thought I might suggest to you my post on Reading Suggestions in Wittgenstein Studies. There I list some of the theological works that I think make good starts at putting theology and Wittgenstein into fruitful conversation.

      Reply
      1. Austin Starr

        Thanks so much for this thoughtful, well reasoned reply! I’m of the opinion that Wittgenstein thought that mystical experience was real but not something it was possible to speak (write) about. I don’t know whether that’s because a true mystical experience (and I’ve had many) occur outside the bounds of physics and would be ‘impossible’ to most people or because mystical experiences are wordless. Thanks for the reading suggestions. And good luck with your studies!
        Austin Starr

        Reply
  3. dwadkins

    I Stumbled across your website googling a Herbert McCABE quote.
    And I’m bookmarking it for the leads it offers in areas I share an interest in. Thanks for a thoughtful website.
    I came at all of this from a baptist rearing. ( now retired after 40 years of ministry)
    Share with you an early appreciation of CS Lewis and later with philosophical while practical approaches.
    Michael Polanyi had important influence.
    Currently pursuing the importance of aesthetics for theological understanding.
    Bravo to your labors.

    Reply

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