Academic journal article Theological Studies

From Nothing: A Theology of Creation

Academic journal article Theological Studies

From Nothing: A Theology of Creation

Article excerpt

From Nothing: A Theology of Creation. By Ian A. McFarland. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2014. Pp xvii + 212. $35.

In recent years some process theologians and their sympathizers have attacked, modified, or rejected outright the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. Chief among their concerns is the belief that this doctrine has extrinsic roots as a Platonic import to Christianity. Those who reject ex nihilo claim to be returning to a more authentic and scripturally based Christian theology of creation and pose a formidable challenge. As McFarland explains, "The whole of this book is my answer to this challenge" (18). And his answer is a good one.

McF.'s impassioned defense of creatio ex nihilo takes the form of a consciously exitus-reditus structure reminiscent of Bonaventure's chiastic work in the Bre-viloquium. The six chapters, with an introduction and conclusion, weave together the intrinsically linked, but often artificially separated, doctrines of creation and salvation. In this way, one might rightly align McF.'s efforts here with his theological forebear Irenaeus, to whom McF. is understandably indebted. Offering an impressive engagement with scriptural, patristic, medieval, reformed, and contemporary sources throughout, McF. …

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