God, Creation, And Revelation

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The culmination of nearly forty years of study and teaching, this book adeptly balances the philosophical efforts needed in systematic theology with the biblical material in which Christian doctrines are rooted, and it covers well the range of theologies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802804600
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/19/1991
  • Pages: 556
  • Product dimensions: 1.24 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xv
Unit 1 Introduction: A Prolegomenon To Dogmatics
I. Definition of Terms: Theology as Christian, Systematic, and Dogmatic 4
Excursus: Concerning Theology and Theologies 11
II. Theological Method: Philosophy, Science, and Theology 17
III. Speaking of God 25
A. Introduction 25
B. Concerning Myth, Symbol, and Analogy 28
C. The Revelation/Faith Context of Theological Language 34
D. Conclusion 38
First Addendum: A Comment on Sexist Language 44
Second Addendum: On Diction and Style in Theological Discourse 48
IV. Alternatives to Christian Theism 50
Addendum: Concerning the Theistic Proofs 54
"Veiling"--A Sermon 59
Unit 2 How We Know God: Revelation and Scripture
I. God's Self-Disclosure in Creation and Providence 68
II. God's Self-Disclosure in Jesus Christ 74
A. Introduction 74
B. The Modes (Modalities) of Special Revelation 77
C. Faith, History, Reason--and Revelation 79
Addendum: God Hidden in His Revelation: The Doctrine of the Divine Incomprehensibility 85
"Revelation"--A Sermon 89
III. God's Self-Disclosure in the Witness of Scripture to Jesus Christ 95
A. The Canon of Scripture and the Scripture as Canon 95
First Addendum: The Canon as Closed 101
Second Addendum: The Sufficiency (Perfection) of Scripture 102
B. The Preservation (Text) and Translation of Scripture 105
1. The Church as the Custodian of Scripture 105
2. The Church as the Translator of Scripture 107
Addendum: The King James Version: A Comment on the Place of Beauty in the Worship of God 113
C. The Unity of Scripture 118
1. Introduction 118
2. Unity-in-Diversity 120
a. One Covenant Differently Administered 120
b. Promise and Fulfillment 121
c. The Allegorizing of the Old Testament in the New 122
D. The Authority of Scripture 125
1. Introduction 125
2. The Inspiration of Scripture 126
a. Introduction 126
b. Concerning Dictation and Inerrancy 127
c. The Divine/Human Character of Scripture 130
1) The Position of the Protestant Reformers 130
2) The Position of the Protestant Scholastics 131
3) Inspiration as Verbal and Plenary 136
d. Conclusion 139
Addendum: Continuing Problems and Possible Resolutions 143
E. The Interpretation and Understanding of Scripture 147
1. The Perspicuity of Scripture 147
2. The Complexity of the Hermeneutical Task 149
a. Introduction 149
b. The Reformers' Position 150
c. Statement of a Protestant and Evangelical Hermeneutic 153
1) Introduction 153
2) Irreducible Differences of Interpretation: The Place of Faith and Reason in the Understanding of Scripture 157
Addendum: Concerning Preaching and the Hearing (Application) of Scripture 161
"A Book with a Difference"--A Sermon 164
Unit 3 Who God Is: the Divine Nature
I. God Is Personal Being 174
A. God and the Philosophic Absolute 174
B. The Name of God 177
1. The Old Testament Data 177
2. The New Testament Data 179
3. The Name [characters not reproducible]rd 180
4. Concerning the Tetragrammaton 180
C. Some Basic Affirmations 182
1. God Is the Living God 182
2. God Is Unique 183
3. God Is Free 183
D. Conclusion 184
Addendum: Concerning Idolatry 185
II. God Is the Holy One 189
A. Introduction 189
B. The Biblical Data 191
Excursus: Further Comments on Matters Related to the Affirmation: God Is the Holy One 196
1. The Twofold Meaning of the Term "Holiness" as Used of God 196
2. The Wrath of God 196
3. The Beauty of God 197
C. The Divine Transcendence 198
1. Introduction 198
2. Radical Restatements of the Doctrine 204
3. Moderate Restatements of the Doctrine: Transcendence as Personal Encounter 207
a. Introduction 207
b. The Position of Karl Heim 209
Adendum: Concerning Apophatic Theology 218
"A Fire and a Name" -- A Sermon 220
III. God Is Love 228
A. Introduction 228
B. Agape and Eros 230
C. The Biblical Data 232
Addendum: Erotic Love as the Symbol of Agape 235
D. Theological Analysis 238
1. Introduction 238
2. God's Love as Grace 240
3. God's Love as Wrath 244
E. Conclusion 249
Addendum: The Divine Wrath and the Symbolism of Fire 252
"Love's Resolve" -- A Sermon 254
IV. God Is a Trinity of Holy Love 261
A. Introduction 261
B. The Significance of the Doctrine and Its Location in the Structure of Systematics 263
C. The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine 268
Excursus: Concerning the Vestigia 273
D. The Exposition of the Doctrine 275
1. The Trinity of Being: The Oneness of God 275
a. Introduction 275
Excursus: A Historical Note 275
b. God's Oneness: A Oneness of Essential Being 278
Addendum: The Trinity in Process Theology 281
2. The Trinity of Being: The Threeness of God 283
a. Introduction 283
b. God's Threeness: A Threeness of Personal Subsistence 285
c. The Relational Meaning of the Trinitarian Name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit 287
Concerning "Monogeneis," "Procession," and the "Filioque" 292
3. The Trinity of Being: God's Oneness-in-Threeness and His Threeness-in-Oneness 294
a. Introduction 294
b. God's Oneness Viewed as Numeric Identity 295
c. The Mutual Indwelling of the Persons of the Godhead 297
d. The Individual (Psychological) and the Social Analogies of the Trinity 300
Addendum: Concerning the Logos 303
4. The Trinity of Revelation 305
a. Introduction 305
b. The Works of God Are One, Yet by Appropriation 306
c. The Father Who Becomes Our Father 308
d. The Son Who Becomes Our Savior 310
e. The Spirit Who Becomes Our Sanctifier 311
The Meaning of "Paraclete" 314
f. Economic Subordinationism 315
Addendum: Concerning the Subordination of the Son to the Father and the Woman to the Man 322
E. Sexist Language and the Doctrine of the Trinity 323
"The Oldest Math" -- A Sermon 326
Unit 4 What God is Like: the Divine Attributes
I. Introduction 336
A. May Attributes Be Predicated of God? Concerning Nominalism and Realism 338
B. The Anthropomorphic/Analogical Character of Such Predication 340
C. Concerning the Attributes and the Doxological Statements of Worship 341
D. The Ultimate Unity of the Divine Nature and Attributes 343
First Addendum: On the Classification of the Attributes 344
Second Addendum: Concerning the Divine Simplicity 346
II. God's Will and Power 348
A. Introduction 348
B. The Biblical Data 349
C. Some Basic Affirmations 353
1. God Determines the Meaning of Her Power 353
2. God's Power Is Not Natural Causality 355
3. God's Power Is Her Personal Will, Which Is Supreme over All 357
4. God's Power Revealed in the Weakness of the Cross 359
"A Strange Power"--A Sermon 362
III. God's Wisdom and Knowledge 369
A. Introduction 369
B. The Biblical Data 370
C. Some Basic Affirmations 372
1. God's Wisdom and Knowledge Are Ultimately One 372
2. God's Knowledge Is Both Comprehensive and Intensive 373
3. God Infallibly Knows the Future 375
D. Concluding Observations 378
1. God's Omniscience and the Quality of Human Life 378
2. God's Wisdom Revealed in the Foolishness of the Cross 380
IV. God's Justice/Righteousness and Mercy 382
A. Introduction 382
B. Justice and the Divine Will 383
C. The Divine Mercy 385
1. Introduction 385
2. Divine Mercy from the Biblical Perspective 386
D. The Divine Righteousness and the Cross 391
V. God's Faithfulness and Suffering 396
A. Introduction: Concerning the Divine Immutability/Impassibility 396
Excursus: A Historical Note 398
B. A Restatement of the Doctrine of Immutability 401
1. Introduction 401
2. Salvation, An Act of Suffering Love 404
a. Old Testament Anticipation 404
b. New Testament Fulfillment 408
3. Theologia Crucis: A Comment 409
VI. God's Omnipresence and Eternity 413
A. God and Space 413
1. Introduction 413
2. The Jesus Event as Paradigm 415
3. Concerning "Easter Space" 419
4. The Pentecostal Event as Paradigm 420
B. God and Time 422
1. Introduction 422
2. The Augustinian Legacy 423
Excursus: A Comment on Process Thought 424
3. What It Means to Say "God Is Eternal" 425
a. Introduction 425
b. God's Eternity as "Easter Time" 427
c. Conclusion 431
Unit 5 What God Has Done: Creation
I. Introduction 438
II. Rejected Options: Platonism, Gnostic Emanation, and Pantheism 440
Addendum: Creation as "Birthing"? 444
III. Who Is the Creator and What Has He Done? 446
A. Creation Is the Work of the Father through the Son and the Spirit 446
B. Creation Is the Actualizing of the Divine Will 450
1. Introduction 450
2. Creation and the Divine Decree (Decretum Dei) 451
3. Creation and Causality 453
Excursus: On the Location of Creation in the Creed as the First Article 454
C. Starting with Nothing: Creation as Creatio ex Nihilo 455
1. Introduction 455
2. "And God Said ... and It Was So" 457
D. Working with Something: Creation as Creatio Continua 459
First Addendum: On the Meaning of Genesis 1:2 462
Second Addendum: On the Meaning of "Heaven and Earth" in Scripture and in the Confessions of the Church 467
IV. Creation and the Question of Temporal Origins 470
A. "In the Beginning ..." Genesis 1:1 470
B. Contemporary Cosmological Models 472
C. "In Six Days ..." Genesis 1:3-31; Exodus 20:11 478
V. Creation and the Divine Wisdom 485
A. Introduction 485
B. The World Viewed as the Product of Min 486
C. God's Purpose in Creation 491
D. The Problem of Evil 496
VI. Creation and the Christian Life 502
"Beginnings"--A Sermon 506
Indexes 513
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