Great Is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God

Great Is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God

by Ron Highfield

ISBN-10: 0802833004

ISBN-13: 9780802833006

Pub. Date: 08/28/2008

Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company

In keeping with the classic Christian tradition, Great Is the Lord sets out the doctrine of God in a way that illumines the mind, moves the heart, and stirs the soul to praise the triune God. Ron Highfield introduces students, ministers, and others to the “traditional” doctrine of God held by the majority of the church from the second


In keeping with the classic Christian tradition, Great Is the Lord sets out the doctrine of God in a way that illumines the mind, moves the heart, and stirs the soul to praise the triune God. Ron Highfield introduces students, ministers, and others to the “traditional” doctrine of God held by the majority of the church from the second to the twentieth century: God is triune, loving, merciful, gracious, patient, wise, one, simple, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, omnipresent, immutable, impassible, and glorious.

Irenically challenging open theism and process theology, Highfield shows that the classical doctrine of God actually preserves our confidence in God's love and his liberating action better than its opponents do. This traditional doctrine, Highfield argues, grounds our dignity and freedom in the center of reality, the trinitarian life of God. Highfield's work maintains the highest intellectual standards throughout even as it offers a true theology for the praise of God.

Product Details

Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
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Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     xv
Abbreviations     xx
Knowing God
The Word Is Near You: Revelation, Scripture, and Tradition     3
Revelation     3
Can We Know God?     4
What Is Revelation?     6
Revelation as Feeling?     10
Natural Revelation     11
Holy Scripture     19
Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition     20
The Christian Canon     22
The Doctrine of Scripture     24
Tradition     28
The Roman Catholic View     29
The Protestant View     32
A Continuing Role for Tradition?     34
With All Your Heart and Mind: Reason, Experience, and Theology     38
Reason     39
Reason's Uses     39
Reason Abused     42
Experience     45
Experience Used     45
Experience Abused     50
Experience in Retrospect     52
Theology     52
Expanded Definition and Brief Justification     52
The Method of Theology     55
Objections to Theology from Ordinary Believers     57
Elements and Activities of Theology     61
WhatFools Don't Know: The Existence of God     69
Asking the Right Question     70
A Misleading Question     70
The Right Question     72
Opposing Options     73
The Pagan Option     73
The Atheist Option     74
The Agnostic Option     83
God's Self-Demonstration     84
Arguments for God's Existence     87
Cosmological Arguments     88
The Moral Argument     92
The Ontological Argument     93
The Usefulness of the "Proofs"     97
What God's Existence Means     99
The Cosmic Meaning     99
The Existential Meaning     101
Where Being Means Loving: The Tri-unity of God     104
The Traditional Doctrine of the Trinity     105
The Triune Teaching in Scripture     108
Trinitarian Texts     108
Deity-Affirming Texts     110
Person-Distinguishing Texts     117
Texts That Unify the Persons     119
The Trinity in the Old Testament     119
Theological Examination of the Doctrine of the Trinity     122
The Gospel, the Economic, and the Immanent Trinity     122
Alternatives to the Doctrine of the Trinity     126
Coherence and Consistency     129
The Divine Attributes
Where Words Praise and Silence Adores: The Divine Attributes     141
Thinking the Incomprehensible and Speaking the Ineffable     141
An Unusual Question     141
The Analogy of Faith and the Divine Attributes     144
The Grammar of Attribute Language     148
Objections to the Traditional Grammar     151
Classifying the Attributes     153
The Unity of the Attributes     155
The Biblical Teaching on the Attributes     157
The Biblical Names of God     158
Statements of Direct Attribution     160
Statements about God's Actions     160
Narratives of God's Actions     161
The Praise of Israel and the Church     162
Summary of Biblical Data on the Attributes     163
Love Transcendent: Divine Love, Righteousness, and Holiness     164
God Is Love     164
Scriptural Teaching     165
Theology of the Love of God     166
Contrary Views: Is God's Love Really Free?     170
Response to the Critics: Yes, God's Love Really Is Free     172
The Amazing Nature of Divine Love      174
The Holiness of His Love     177
The Holy God in Scripture     177
Theology of God's Holiness     179
Domesticating the Holy     182
The Righteousness of God     183
Righteousness in Scripture     184
Theology of God's Righteousness     185
Questioning God's Righteousness     189
Love's Humility, Charity's Skill: Divine Grace, Mercy, Patience, and Wisdom     192
The Grace of God     192
The Gracious God of Scripture     193
Amazing Grace     195
The Unity of Grace with Holiness and Righteousness     200
Great Is His Mercy     201
The Merciful God of Scripture     202
Perspectives on God's Mercy     202
The Patience of God     206
God's Patience in Scripture     206
Theology of God's Patience     207
The Wisdom of God     212
Wisdom in Scripture     213
Theology of Wisdom     214
Where Life Lives Triumphant: Divine Freedom, Life, Spirituality, and Personhood     222
Divine Freedom     222
Scripture     223
The Tradition     223
Theology of Divine Freedom      226
The Living God     236
Life in Scripture     236
Theology of Divine Life     237
God Is Spirit     241
Spirit in Scripture     241
Theology of Spirit     242
The Tri-Personal God     244
Person in Scripture     245
Theology of Personhood     245
Conclusion     254
The Only "One and Only": Divine Uniqueness and Simplicity     255
Divine Uniqueness     255
The Teaching of Scripture     255
Theology of God's Uniqueness     257
Divine Simplicity     261
The Tradition     261
Theology of Divine Simplicity     264
A Christian Answer to the Simplicity Problem?     269
Where All Times Meet: Divine Omnipresence and Eternity     275
God's Omnipresence     275
The Scriptural Teaching     276
The Tradition     277
Theology of Omnipresence     282
The Eternal God     292
What Scripture Says     293
The Tradition     295
Theology of God's Eternity     298
The Relationship of Eternity and Time     309
Modes of Contemporaneity?     310
Where Knowing and Doing Converge: Divine Omniscience and Omnipotence     312
The All-Knowing God     313
Omniscience in Scripture     313
Theology of God's Knowledge     315
Does God Really Know All Things?     321
Yes, God Really Does Know All Things     328
Taking Sides     329
The Omnipotence of God     332
Divine Omnipotence in Scripture     333
The Traditional Teaching     334
Theology of Omnipotence     338
Is God's Power Really Unlimited?     347
Divine Omnipotence and Human Freedom     352
Love's Passionate Serenity: Divine Immutability, Impassibility, and Glory     358
The Immutability of God     358
Divine Immutability in Scripture     359
Immutability in the Tradition     361
Theology of Divine Immutability     363
Contemporary Objections to Immutability     366
In Defense of Immutability     369
The Impassibility of God     375
Why Impassibility?     376
Contemporary Critics of Impassibility     380
The Glory of God     389
Glory in Scripture      389
Theology of God's Glory     391
Does God Do Everything for His Own Glory?     397
Or the Stones Will Cry Out: The Ethics of the Doctrine of God     401
The Divine Command     402
God's Command in Scripture     402
Christian Ethics as the Theology of God's Command     404
The Eternal Command of God     407
God's Command to Creatures     410
The Ethics of the Doctrine of God     411
Seek Him!     411
Follow Him!     416
Praise Him!     421
Bibliography     429
Index of Names and Subjects     445
Index of Scripture References     458

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