Reforming the Doctrine of God

Reforming the Doctrine of God

Reforming the Doctrine of God

Reforming the Doctrine of God

Synopsis

In dialogue with late modern developments in philosophy, science and biblical scholarship, "Reforming the Doctrine of God" explores the conceptual space opened up by three theological trajectories that have sought to recover traditional emphases on Infinity, Trinity and Futurity, and offers a reconstructive presentation of the Christian understanding and experience of the Gospel of divine knowing, acting and being.

Excerpt

Every presentation of the Christian doctrine of God’should aim to conserve the intuitions of the living biblical tradition by liberating them for illuminative and transformative dialogue within a particular cultural context. How can we articulate the gospel of the biblical God within our own contemporary setting? For an increasing number of people both inside and outside the Christian community the proclamation of the existence of a timeless immaterial substance, whose absolute subjectivity is the predetermining first cause of all things, does not seem like good news. The early modern categories that guide these ways of articulating the doctrine of God have been challenged by developments in biblical scholarship, historical research into the theological tradition, late modern philosophical reflection, and discoveries in the natural and social sciences.

Alongside these concerns three trajectories in the doctrine of God emerged in the twentieth century: the retrieval of divine Infinity, the revival of trinitarian doctrine, and the renewal of eschatological ontology. The conceptual space opened up by these trajectories provides us with an

1. I outlined these trajectories in “Sharing in the Divine Nature: Transformation,
Koinonia and the Doctrine of God,” in On Being Christian… and Human, ed. T. Speidell
(Eugene, Ore.: Wipf & Stock, 2002), 87-127, and explored their soteriological and
ecclesiological implications in chapter 2 of The Faces of Forgiveness: Searching for Wholeness
and Salvation
, with Steven J. Sandage (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003). Part II of the
current book will spell them out in greater detail.

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