Recently, a mate of mine, Reno Lauro, wrote a punchy review of Gunton’s A Brief Theology of Revelation for Religious Studies Review. I thought it well worth repeating here:
Take a moment and consider this particular font; consider the format and layout of the page, or even this very sentence. What these elements all have in common is they mediate meaning. From cover to cover, Gunton’s A Brief Theology of Revelation reevaluates the doctrine of revelation in terms of mediation. Based on a 1993 Warfield lecture at Princeton Theological Seminary, Guntons book offers a surprisingly fresh critique of a neo-orthodox theology of revelation and post-liberal alternatives, which in some ways may seem much more relevant today than it did at the dawn of Clintons America. However, it is not Gunton’s critique that makes this book so important, but it is his systematic advancement of Trinitarian mediation. It is the Trinitarian formulation of a doctrine of creation which allows God to be God, the world to be the world, distinct beings he says, and yet personally related by personal mediation as creator and creation. Gunton’s lecture looks to exploit nuances in the debate previously ignored. Christian revelation is mediated, and at the most basic level all Truth, said Coleridge, is a species of Revelation. All knowledge is mediated, and only when we attend to reality through them does it disclose to us its secrets. A strong Trinitarian doctrine of creation and theology of nature is the answer to Barth’s oversimplified natural theology versus theology of revelation dichotomy. Pneumatology is thus the key to any adequate theology of revelation and of its mediation. I wish T & T Clark would have provided a forward to this new edition perhaps a retrospect of his work and what was lost in his sudden passing but this text should not be passed over lightly.