The Doctrine of God

The Doctrine of God

The Doctrine of God

The Doctrine of God

Excerpt

This is the first of two independent volumes that together will cover the field of Christian theology. The second volume will be entitled The Doctrine of Redemption, and will deal with the world, man, sin, and salvation through Christ. The present volume, as the title states, has to do with the doctrine of God, but it also deals in an introductory way and at considerable length with the nature of theology in general and its place in modern thought.

The current prejudice against theology, insofar as it has a rational basis, is due to the modern revolt against authoritarianism and metaphysics. These twin evils are supposed to attach to theology, and as far as the second is concerned I see no way of escaping the charge. Authoritarianism belongs to the past. Progressive Protestant theology has set it aside. But metaphysics has to do with ultimate reality; it has to do with what "God" stands for in religion. Theology, therefore, could not renounce it without ceasing to be theology. One might, it is true, expound the biblical doctrine of God without relating it to one's total world-view and without seeking to ground it philosophically. But this would be a superficial mode of procedure. Such a theology would be metaphysical in content without being metaphysical in method. Metaphysics, as William James said, is only 'an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly and . . .

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