The April 2008 edition of the International Journal of Systematic Theology (Volume 10/Issue 2) is now out and includes the following articles:
- ‘Merit in the Midst of Grace: The Covenant with Adam Reconsidered in View of the Two Powers of God’, by John Halsey Wood, Jr.
Abstract: The position of Barth and others, that the covenant with Adam is thoroughly legalistic, is based on the incorrect assumption that grace and works cannot coexist as covenant principles. However, the difficulty of seeing the harmony between these principles is real. This article reconsiders the covenant with Adam in light of the medieval concept of the two powers of God, or as we shall argue here, the two perspectives on God’s power. These two perspectives, part of the original intellectual milieu in which covenant theology arose, demonstrate that the divine covenant with humanity may include aspects of both God’s grace and human merit simultaneously. God’s grace is apparent de potentia absoluta, from the perspective of God’s absolute power, and God’s justice and the possibility of Adam’s merit are apparent de potentia ordinata, from the perspective of God’s ordained power. Both perspectives, what God could do and what he has in fact chosen to do, are valid and necessary perspectives for understanding God’s covenant dealings.
- ‘Living The Future: The Kingdom of God in the Theologies of Jürgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg’, by Timothy Harvie.
Abstract: In recent theology, both Jürgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg have made the kingdom of God a central theme in their thought. However, there has been little ensuing discussion delimiting the precise theological insights entailed in their positions or relating this aspect of their work to their broader theological endeavours. Moreover, discussions surrounding the moral implications of the kingdom of God in these two thinkers have been oddly estranged from the theological articulations on which these ethical suggestions have been based. This article aims to address this deficit in the current debate by examining and exploring the nature and role of the kingdom of God in Moltmann and Pannenberg’s thought. Once the material content of the kingdom has been explored theologically, both theologians will be critiqued on the manner in which they include the theme of judgement into the kingdom, and the subsequent ethical results.
- ‘Eucharist, Matter and the Supernatural: Why de Lubac Needs Teilhard’, by David Grumett.
Abstract: Henri de Lubac intended to found his theology on a revaluation of nature achieved by reasserting nature’s dependence on divine supernatural action. He usually identifies nature with human nature however, and therefore fails to demonstrate that the wider natural order also depends on God for its creation, preservation and redemption. In his extensive engagement with the oeuvre of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, de Lubac nevertheless begins to revise this reduction of nature to human nature, although does not fully incorporate the insights gained into his theology. Teilhard’s fundamentally eucharistic understanding of materiality provides suggestive possibilities for the successful completion of de Lubac’s abolition of the philosophy of pure nature.
- ‘Deconstructing the Linearity of Grace: The Risk and Reflexive Paradox of Mary’s Immaculate Fiat’, by Aaron Riches.
Abstract: Beginning from Pope Pius IX’s doctrinal definition in Ineffabilis Deus, this article explores the circular paradox of the Virgin Mary’s immaculate fiat. Fully contingent on Christ’s work of reconciliation (and ‘immaculate’ by virtue of it), Mary’s fiat paradoxically precedes that work and consents to it. The article suggests that this circularity is integral to the intimate bond that unites Mary’s fiat to the Son’s kenosis on the cross. Her fiat thus points the way of redeemed creation into the reflexivity of God’s own intra-trinitarian communication. Mary is hereby read as ‘the way to prayer’, the ‘epiphany’ of the Holy Spirit (as Alexander Schmemann names her) who cries ‘Abba, Father’ on behalf of those who do not know how to pray
- ‘The Elusiveness, Loss and Cruciality of Recovered Holiness: Some Biblical and Theological Observations’, by Jason Goroncy.
Abstract: While holiness is one of the motifs in theological discourse that can legitimately be said to entwine many others, the coinage it receives for such honour is being largely exiled from discussion. Thus, any contribution that could be made by considering Jesus Christ as the defining revelation of holiness is sidelined. Beginning with some biblical observations, and enlisting some help from Scottish Congregationalist P.T. Forsyth, this article seeks to encourage a reclaiming of holiness vocabulary as a distinctly christological reality and gift that finds expression first in the unique incarnate life and death of the Son, and then in the life and mission of the community created and sustained by that same Son.