Systematic Theology (Volume 1 of 3)


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Systematic Theology (Volume 1 of 3) by Charles Hodge

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Systematic Theology, Volume 3

Laughter at the Foot of the Cross Michael A. Systematic Theology, Volume 2 Paul Tillich. Systematic Theology, Volume 3 Paul Tillich.


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Systematic Theology, Volume 1 Paul Tillich. Paul Tillich pages 5.

Systematic Theology (Volume 1 of 3) by Augustus Hopkins Strong

Here the focus is on the concepts of being and reason. Tillich shows how the quest for revelation is integral to reason itself. In the same way a description of the inner tensions of being leads to the recognition that the quest for God is implied in finite being.

Here also Tillich defines his thought in relation to philosophy and the Bible and sets forth his famous doctrine of God as the "Ground of Being. It is, most deeply, a vocation. I have hoped for several things in this project: Comprehensive systematic theology cycles were once a mainstay in Christian theology—a capstone achievement—not only in the longer historical tradition, but as well the mid- to late-twentieth century seemed to be a golden age of such attempts.

That has changed in the last decade or so. The mode of grand systematics seems to be in a state of modification, with more perspectival or contextual series of contributions predominating. How do you see your project in relation to the current model s of systematic theology? What are the resonances and differences?


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  4. What do you hope to contribute to the present discussion? Who do you think should be reading this book and how do you imagine it will be used? Again, this must seem odd to say so, but in truth I believe that the most radical voice in our contemporary world is tradition, the Scripture and Doctrinal tradition of the Church.

    These are the radical un-making of our world of the everyday, and I hope to train my ears and the ears of my neighbors to that radical theme. So, I share with my contemporaries the conviction that theology—the Gospel! But I think my colleagues in theology may find the larger field of epistemology and its methods more fruitful and compelling than do I. I believe theology must simply begin: This conviction may give the reader the sense she has stepped back behind the modern or the Enlightenment to a naive, perhaps misguided, universality and unvarnished realism.

    My conviction rather is that the Spirit gives us utterance in systematic work for theology that is genuinely anchored in this day, yet speaks confidently of a Reality that is Universal, Eternal, One. I hope that this will strike some readers as the pattern of the biblical scribe, bringing out from the treasure house things old and things new. Relatedly, how would you describe the current state of systematic theology?

    What are some of the positive developments you see? I see signs everywhere of theologians raising their eyes from particular and local discussions to broader fields, longer views. Kathryn Tanner, Sarah Coakley, Kendall Soulen, and John Webster are all in the midst of ambitious multivolume projects, and I am sure that is a small, parochial list.

    Women are taking up large dogmatic themes, and are properly ambitious in their undertakings. Dogmatic conferences are less and less handed over, without remainder, to dense methodological discussions and second or third order analyses of prolegomena. The ecumenical breadth and seriousness of theology these days is a remarkable gift—unprecedented I believe in the divided Church—and is so firmly rooted now that it almost slips by unnoticed.

    These are all signs of hope! But, of course, theology these days is being written in a world highly unsuitable for it. It is not simply that the university is secular these days; rather it is no longer respectable, intellectually and at time morally, to be religious. I do think it is that strong. Of course academics are by and large tolerant and indulgent of the oddities of their neighbors! But it is an odd thing in educated, elite circles these days to be a devout Christian.

    Because I do not think it enriches dogmatics to be written always contra mundum , such pronounced secularism is a burden for systematic theology these days. Theologians need to work in community, I believe, and the theological world that our ancestors could assume, even a generation or two ago, no longer surrounds us. And of course we in the postindustrial world live in a society of great inequality, one in which material objects are the steady diet of consumption, of desire, and of possession—none of these material conditions can nurture or instruct Christian dogmatics in Things Eternal.

    Readers will note with some surprise that this volume does not start with the doctrine of the Trinity, which has been the resounding trend for some time. It seems to me that the relation of Christianity to Judaism has been a gift to theology, under the Providentia Dei, but one that has not been fully incorporated into the Doctrine of God. Thankfully, Christian theologians have taken to heart the counsel that the election of the People Israel is irrevocable, and no longer advocate a full-throated supersessionism in the Doctrine of the Church.

    But in my view, the Doctrine of God has not kept step with the deep reappraisal underway in Doctrines of Election, Soteriology, and Ecclesiology.

    Systematic Theology, Volume 3, Tillich

    The faith of Israel is anchored to the proclamation and confession of the One God; the Shema stands at the head of Torah. I believe that the scholastic treatise, De Deo Uno , properly stands at the head of the Doctrine of God and gives Christian witness to the prophetical teaching of Moses in its midst. We run risks, I believe, in the Trinitarian revival of losing sight of this Anchor and this radical Claim upon our speech.


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    Too quickly we Christians have spoken of Three and not shown or underscored how this must be One. In this way, the Economic Trinity has achieved a prominence in the Doctrine of God that distracts us from the severely difficult demand, to think the thought of Radical Unicity. At the heart of this volume is the Oneness—the singularity—of God. It is in many respects a reclamation of scriptural monothesism, which connects to the testimony of the Jewish Scriptures and confession, and the interpretation of that tradition as impacted by the Christian declaration of Jesus Christ as Lord.

    This pattern really gives the volume a unique shape. What were some of the key influences for you in pursuing this way of constructing a doctrine of God? What thinkers in particular provided inspiration or the opposite? Did you pursue this line of construction out of a sense of deficiency in modern and contemporary systematic thinking?

    On the advice of a friend I have been reading through volumes four and five of von Balthasar's Glory of the Lord as an aid to developing a Doctrine of Trinity. Now here is a Christian theologian who finds something deeply congenial in the paganism of ancient Greece!

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    In a remarkable and seemingly unhesitant voice, von Balthasar can find the One, True God praised and discovered in the tragedies of Aeschylus, the epics of Homer. But I discover in me a strong, nearly allergic, reaction to such a view. I have been much influenced by the modern Judaic thinkers who spot paganism throughout the modern world, not least in much Christian teaching.

    And I believe that our Lord Christ has taught us to honor the One God through the Great Commandment, the love of God standing as the highest claim upon the Christian life. In this way, I believe, the extraordinarily beautiful and radical idea of Divine Uniqueness can hold center stage in Dogmatics. David Bentley Hart has recently defended the One God, the God who is Being Itself, in a rather ferocious fashion, but one I find myself persuaded must be true. One of the fascinating elements of this volume is an extensive exposition of the divine perfections or attributes. Could you discuss your decision to retrieve this locus of dogmatics?

    Do you think this is an unfairly neglected area in modern and contemporary thought? Is there a key insight in recovering this for today? Nothing is so beautiful as the thought of God. We Christians should never tire of this truth! For some time in the stretches of modern theology, Christians have hesitated before the steep slope of a rich and positive Doctrine of God, finding surer footing in an apophatism about Divine Nature and Deity, and an appeal to Divine Mystery.

    (1) Systematic Theology III - Bibliology / Introduction

    Here the legacy of Kant's Critical Philosophy looms large, and it seems that modern theology has not quite shaken off its Critical slumbers. Other streams feed this river: There is much truth in all these things! But Almighty God is One who gives Himself to be known, and is willing, in great humility, to be laid down as Object of our thought. This exceeding Mystery is the gift we honor in the Doctrine of Divine Perfections: God is pleased to sanctify our intellects in the very thought of Him.

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    Our doctrine is not inerrant for all that! But to think God is to be changed—that is the promise of the Doctrine of Divine Attributes. Students and readers today have an almost dizzying choice of texts in theology.

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