William Placher, 1948–2008 | First Things

I stumbled upon a tribute to the life of William Placher recently and found it to be a really well done piece that deserved to be shared. I had no idea Placher studied under Hans Frei at Yale Divinity School. Yet another reason I need to read Frei’s book, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative. I am definitely drawn to post-liberalism and its focus upon narrative theology. I wonder if that is why I find Placher’s style so compelling. He writes in a very unassuming, yet brilliant way. He lets the reader in on the most up-to-date discussions in theology, infuses them with historic Christian confessions and leaves the reader with a couple of questions/observations, allowing the tension to rest upon the reader. His approach is subtle, but persuasive. He doesn’t tell the reader what to believe, but lets history and theology speak for themselves. I appreciate the tone of his writing and its generous attitude towards the diversity of theological discourse. There is a kind of winsomeness in his approach that I find compelling. I think we all can learn from this as we attempt to engage in the practice of theological writing.

William Placher, 1948–2008 | First Things.