As a good academic I have spent the last 20 years or so feeling the constant compulsion to read and cite sources whenever I decide to write about a topic. ((And there are good reasons for this, see this source.)) In the last two years I have been writing for more directly about my views and convictions relating to such theological and textual issues as theodicy, suffering, and the resurrection. I was recently asked about my sources and I realized that I no longer cared about citing sources. Which is not to say I am going to or condone stealing another’s work, I have felt that sting and wish it upon no one. But rather I realized that I simply need to write and express my thoughts, my thoughts. I no longer feel the compulsion to couch my views in apposition with or in the school of thought of another. They are mine, for good and for ill.
Granted, I have read a LOT on these topics over the years and I know that they inform me greatly. And I continue to read on the subject. If you follow this blog at all, for example, you will know that I am grateful to Mr. MacDonald for introducing me to Emil Brunner. I should have read him decades ago, but never did. It has been like a refreshing breeze to me. I have also regularly posted quotes from Brunner and others on this blog as they strike me and seem powerful enough to share. I have noticed that Brunner, at least in his later works, offered few references. No one would deny or doubt the breadth and depth of his knowledge or that he is clearly engaging with the challenges and thoughts of the day. But when he writes he is sharing his thoughts.
I would never suggest that I am the level of such a scholar, but I do feel a great burden of needing to prove myself through the words of others. At least when it comes to these topics and this forum I simply will continue to share my reading, opinion, and understanding. No doubt anything illuminating is something that I gleaned from another and all faults are my own.