Jason Goroncy (PhD, St Andrews) teaches in the area of systematic theology at Whitley College, University of Divinity, and is an ordained minister with the Baptist Union of Victoria and the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.
He has degrees in education from the University of Melbourne, and in theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity and the University of St Andrews.
Prior to arriving at Whitley in 2015, he served as a pastor of Baptist and Uniting churches, as a lecturer at the Koh Lo Traw Theological College on the Thai-Burma border, as a lecturer and Dean of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership in New Zealand, as a primary and secondary school teacher, and as a rubber stamp maker. His current research interests lie chiefly in the areas of Christian doctrine, theological anthropology (with a particular focus on children, disability, and death), theological aesthetics, and the work of the Scottish theologian P. T. Forsyth.
Among his many affections – not all of which are fully appreciated by his partner and their three begats – are cooking (especially Indian and Sri Lankan dishes), reading, visual arts, bushwalking, cycling, whisky, folk music, ornithology, and fishing (with a strong preference for fly fishing, on the basis of the undisputed fact that ‘all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen’ (Norman Maclean)). He believes in the superiority of old-fashioned shaving cream, leather shoes, cotton shirts, and loose-leaf tea. He has a strong preference for home-roasted coffee beans, and for second-hand clothing (his favourite pair of pyjamas once belonged to a very long-legged ‘Mr Ron Baker’). He cheers for the Western Bulldogs, the Boston Red Sox, the Chelsea Football Club, the Scotland national rugby union team, the Williamstown Seagulls, and the Indian Cricket Team. His golf game was much improved after reading John Updike’s essays ‘Walking Insomnia’ and ‘Lost Balls’. He tweets at @, and loiters at Goodreads.
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Hallowed be Thy Name: The Sanctification of All in the Soteriology of P.T. Forsyth. London/New York: T&T Clark, 2013.
This unique study by Jason Goroncy offers an accessible and constructive way of reading and critiquing the thought of one the most creative and robust theological minds that the English language has produced – P. T. Forsyth (1848–1921). It takes due account of, and elucidates, the theological, philosophical and historical locale of Forsyth’s thought, and explores whether the notion of ‘hallowing’ provides a profitable lens through which to read and evaluate his work. Goroncy suggests that the hallowing of God’s name is, for Forsyth, the way whereby God both justifies himself and claims creation for divine service. Reading Forsyth’s corpus as essentially an exposition of the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer, Goroncy invites us to better comprehend not only Forsyth’s soteriology but also, by extension, his broader theological vision and interests.
‘In this fine book Jason Goroncy engages in a critical and appreciative assessment of the theological work of P. T. Forsyth by directing our attention to the ways in which Forsyth understands divine action in terms of the Lord’s prayer’s first petition. This focus serves well the task of exploring the richness of Forsyth’s work. Goroncy’s beautifully crafted prose and astute theological judgement combine in a compelling case that Forsyth deserves to be reckoned with still’. – Murray Rae, University of Otago
‘P. T. Forsyth (1848–1921) has been described as a “Barthian before Barth” (not entirely accurate, but a great compliment to Barth). His works enjoyed a revival in the middle years of the twentieth century, and now we are in the midst of a second great awakening inspired by Trevor Hart and others in the mid-1990s. Since then articles and monographs have appeared, and among the best is this book by Dr. Goroncy. He has fastened upon the thus far insufficiently-studied theme of sanctification which pervades Forsyth’s works. His treatment is stimulating, his research is unusually thorough, his style is fluent. The result is an important book which should be read by ministers of religion and church members, as well as by professional toilers in the theological vineyard – especially, perhaps, by any who have somehow momentarily mislaid the gospel’. – Alan P. F. Sell, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
- Alan Gaunt, in The Journal of the United Reformed Church History Society 9.6 (May 2015), 389–91. (pdf)
- Meine Veldman, in Journal of Reformed Theology 9.2 (2015), 218–20. (pdf)
- Ben Nasmith, on Cognitive Resonance (18 July 2015).
- Kevin P. Considine, in Horizons 42.1 (June 2015), 170–72. (pdf)
- Robert P. Russo, in Catholic Library World 85.3 (March 2015), 186–88.
- Donald K. McKim, in Religious Studies Review 40.3 (September 2014), 140. (pdf)
- André Muller, in Candour 14 (September 2014), 17–20.
- Richard L. Floyd, in Theology Today 70.4 (January 2014), 467–68.
- W. Travis McMaken, in Reviews in Religion & Theology 21.1 (January 2014), 45–47. (pdf)
- Graham Watts, in Regent’s Reviews 5.1 (October 2013), 14–15. (pdf)
- Robin Parry, on Theological Scribbles Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Descending on Humanity and Intervening in History: Notes from the Pulpit Ministry of P.T. Forsyth. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2013.
This collection of forty-eight sermons, most of which have not been previously published, discloses the integration of vocation and imagination in the work of one of the greatest of Free Church theologians, P. T. Forsyth. At a time of fragmentation, when theological study has become too much removed from the task of the preacher, Forsyth’s work can remind us of the invigorating power of Christian doctrine interpreted and expounded in situations of pastoral and political exigency. Its capacity for the renewal of the church is evident again from this rich and timely anthology, compiled and introduced by Jason Goroncy.
‘Far from being a collection of cozy meditations, here are challenging, biblically rooted, theologically powerful, pastorally concerned essays and sermon notes by Britain’s most stimulating theologian of the twentieth century. Church members will be energized; preachers will be prompted towards relevant exposition. This book is the product of much persistent burrowing by Jason Goroncy, whose substantial introduction is an exemplary piece of scholarship in its own right. We are greatly indebted to him’. – Alan P. F. Sell, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
‘Few modern theologians have displayed the combination of intellectual energy, rhetorical power, and pastoral commitment of P. T. Forsyth. In this valuable collection of Forsyth’s sermons, many of them hitherto unpublished, we encounter a conviction too often absent in church and academy alike – that theology and preaching belong vitally together. In these striking examples of that vision, contemporary readers will find much to learn, challenge, and inspire’. – Ivor J. Davidson, University of St Andrews
Tikkun Olam—To Mend the World: A Confluence of Theology and the Arts. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2014.
Tikkun Olam—To Mend the World is an edited volume of essays premised on the conviction that artists, theologians and others have things to learn from one another, things about the complex interrelationality of life, and about a coherence of things given and sustained by God. The essays attend to the lives and burdens and hopes that characterize human life in a world broken but unforgotten, in travail but moving towards the freedom promised by a faithful Creator. They reflect on whether the world – wounded as it is by war, by hatred, by exploitation, by neglect, by reason, and by human imagination itself – can be healed. Can there be repair? And can art and theology tell the truth of the world’s woundedness and still speak of its hope?
‘Artistically sensitive, theologically rich, and eminently readable – this is a rare combination, but it is amply demonstrated in this fascinating set of essays’. – Jeremy Begbie, Duke Divinity School, Duke University
‘Emerging from a theological symposium and an art exhibition, the essays in this book show in glorious profusion and profundity the marks of this double origin. Theologians, artists, literary scholars, and musicians combine to bear witness to a world that is broken and yet is also the stage for a decisive event of divine love and healing. These are essays full of insights about order and disorder, beauty and tragedy. Their achievement is to make the reader think and, above all, imagine’. – Paul S. Fiddes, University of Oxford
‘The contributors to this book seek to stay alive between the questions and the answer. They have labored to offer us their reflections on realities that have been made and which are still being made anew. The result is a prayer to stir us awake. We need such books’. – From the Foreword by Alfonse Borysewicz
- Peter J. Leithart, ‘Art and the World’s Repair’. First Things (13 March, 2014).
- Jeff Johnson, in Image Journal 283 (19 March, 2014).
- Geoffrey Colmer, in Regent’s Reviews (April 2014), 19–21.
- Rachelle Eaton, ‘An Act of Hope’ (Part I and Part II) in Englewood Review of Books (23 May 2014).
- Alistair McBride, in Candour 13 (July 2014), 23–24.
Published Articles, Book Chapters, and Poems
‘P. T. Forsyth’, Pages 499–503 in The T&T Clark Companion to Atonement. Edited by Adam J. Johnson. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.
‘Holiness in Victorian and Edwardian England: Some Ecclesial Patterns and Theological Requisitions’. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 73, no. 4 (2017), doi: 10.4102/hts.v73i4.539.
‘Habits as Signs: Some Reflections on the Ethical Shape of Christian Community’. International Journal of Practical Theology 21, no. 1 (2017), 27–41.
‘Ethnicity, Social Identity, and the Transposable Body of Christ’. Mission Studies 34, no. 2 (2017), 220–45.
‘Euthanasia: Some Theological Considerations for Living Responsibly’. Pacifica 29, no. 3 (2016), 221–43.
‘The Catholicity of Time in the Work of George Mackay Brown’. Pacifica 29, no. 1 (2016), 22–44.
‘Semper Reformanda as a Confession of Crisis’, Pages 43–73 in Always Being Reformed: Challenges and Prospects for the Future of Reformed Theology. Edited by David H. Jensen. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2016.
‘Assembly’, Grouch 4 (March 2015).
‘Return’, Grouch 3 (December, 2014).
‘Called, Sent, Empowered: A Theology of Mission’, in PCANZ Global Mission – Why, Where, and How (Wellington: Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 2014).
Contributor to Christian Perspectives on Marriage: A Discussion Document, ed. Bruce Hamill, et al. (Wellington: Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 2014).
‘Theology Matters’, Spanz 58 (Winter 2014), 16.
‘John Calvin: Servant of the Word’, Pages 13–40 in Calvin: The Man and the Legacy. Edited by Murray Rae, Peter Matheson and Brett Knowles. Hindmarsh: ATF Press, 2014.
‘Introduction’, Pages 1–20 in Tikkun Olam – To Mend the World: a confluence of theology and the arts. Edited by Jason A. Goroncy. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2014.
‘Preaching sub specie crucis: An Introduction to the Preaching Ministry of P.T. Forsyth’, Pages 1–66 in Descending on Humanity and Intervening in History: Notes from the Pulpit Ministry of P.T. Forsyth. Edited by Jason A. Goroncy. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013.
‘Foreword’, in Art That Tells the Story: a conversation guide. Edited by Christopher R. Brewer. Grand Rapids: Gospel through Shared Experience, 2013.
‘Mission and the Priesthood of Christ’. Candour 7 (May 2013), 7–11.
‘Mission and the Priesthood of the Christ’. The Other Journal (25 March, 2013).
‘“Tha mi a’ toirt fainear dur gearan”: J. McLeod Campbell and P.T. Forsyth on the Extent of Christ’s Vicarious Ministry’, Pages 253–86 in Evangelical Calvinism: Essays Resourcing the Continuing Reformation of the Church. Edited by Myk Habets and Robert Grow. Princeton Theological Monograph Series. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2012.
‘Tui’. Otago Daily Times, 29 October 2012, 9.
‘Church and Civil Society in the Reformed Tradition: An Old Relationship and a New Communion’. Reformed World 61, no. 3 (2011), 195–210.
‘The Final Sanity is Complete Sanctity: Universal Holiness in the Soteriology of P. T. Forsyth (1848–1921)’, Pages 249–79 in “All Shall Be Well”: Explorations in Universalism and Christian Theology, from Origen to Moltmann. Edited by Gregory MacDonald. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2011.
‘Carrying’, in Notes on Mark’s Gospel: GCSE Religious Studies for Edexcel A – Unit 16 by Ina Taylor. Edited by Holly Cole and Lee J. Taylor. Haddenham: Folens, 2010.
‘No Faith is an Island’. Spanz 44 (September 2010), 16.
‘World Communion of Reformed Churches: A Report’. Candour 8 (September, 2010), 14–15.
‘The Homosexuality of William Stringfellow’. Journal for Public Theology, June (2010).
‘John Calvin: Servant of the Word’. Candour 9 (October 2009), 15–23.
‘The Elusiveness, Loss, and Cruciality of Recovered Holiness: Some Biblical and Theological Observations’. International Journal of Systematic Theology 10, no. 2 (2008), 195–209.
‘Fighting Troll-Demons in Vaults of the Mind and Heart – Art, Tragedy and Sacramentality: Some Observations from Ibsen, Forsyth and Dostoevsky’. Princeton Theological Review 13, no. 1 (2007), 61–85.
‘Lesson and the Arts: Dies Irae, John Donne and Luke 7:36–8:3’. Lectionary Homiletics (2007), 27–28.
‘Lesson and the Arts: Dylan Thomas and Luke 7:11–17’. Lectionary Homiletics (2007), 19–20.
‘Lesson and the Arts: Mark Tansey, Rembrandt Van Rijn, Matryoshka Dolls and Galatians 3:23–29’. Lectionary Homiletics (2007), 36–37.
‘Lesson and the Arts: Pablo Picasso and Romans 5:1–5’. Lectionary Homiletics (2007), 10–11.
‘Bitter Tonic for our Time – Why the Church Needs the World: Peter Taylor Forsyth on Henrik Ibsen’. European Journal of Theology 15, no. 2 (2006), 105–18.
‘Second Best: Rethinking the Roles of Church and State in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate’. ABC Religion and Ethics, 25 September, 2017.
‘Voluntary assisted dying is not a black-and-white issue for Christians – they can, in good faith, support it’ (with Robyn J. Whitaker). The Conversation, 1 August, 2017.
‘Between muddle and ambiguity’. The Christian Century, 5 February, 2016.
‘Theology Matters’, Spanz 58 (Winter 2014), 16.
‘No Faith is an Island’. Spanz 44 (September 2010), 16.
‘World Communion of Reformed Churches: A Report’ (with Bruce Hamill). Candour 8 (September, 2010), 14–15.
Published Book Reviews
‘A review of The Theodicy of Peter Taylor Forsyth: A “Crucial” Justification of the Ways of God to Man, by Theng Huat Leow’, Colloquium 48, no. 1 (2016), 97–99.
‘A review of Dementia: Living in the Memories of God, by John Swinton’. International Journal of Public Theology 8, no. 4 (2014): 497–98.
‘A review of Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming, by Catherine Keller’. Candour 15 (November, 2014), 14–15.
‘A review of John Calvin: Christian Humanist and Evangelical Reformer, by John W. de Gruchy’. Candour 12, (May 2014), 17.
‘A review of Hinterland Theology: A Stimulus to Theological Construction, by Alan P. F. Sell’, International Journal of Systematic Theology 16, no. 1 (2014), 109–13.
‘A review of Barth’s Interpretation of the Virgin Birth: A Sign of Mystery, by Dustin Resch’, The Journal of Theological Studies 64, no. 2 (2013), 818–23.
‘A review of Ethics in the Presence of Christ, by Christopher R. J. Holmes’. Candour 7 (May 2013), 22–24.
‘A review of Entering the New Theological Space: Blurred Encounters of Faith, Politics and Community, edited by John Reader and Christopher R. Baker’. International Journal of Public Theology 7, no. 2 (2013), 213–14.
‘A review of Changing the Conversation: A Third Way for Congregations, by Anthony B. Robinson’. International Journal of Public Theology 7, no. 1 (2013), 121–23.
‘A review of “Heroes of the church” stories – great for young readers: A Review of three books by Simonetta Carr – John Calvin, Athanasius and Weight of a Flame: The Passion of Olympia Morata’. Candour (May 2012), 21–22.
‘A review of Barth, by Eberhard Busch’. European Journal of Theology 21, no. 1 (2012), 78–79.
‘A review of Jürgen Moltmann’s Ethics of Hope, by Timothy Harvie’. Studies in Christian Ethics 24, no. 3 (2011), 391–94.
‘A review of The Purple Crown: The Politics of Martyrdom, by Tripp York’. Religious Studies Review 37, no. 1 (2011), 40.
‘A review of Theosis in the Theology of Thomas Torrance, by Myk Habets’. Colloquium 43, no. 1 (2011), 109–13.
‘A review of Reading the Decree: Exegesis, Election and Christology in Calvin and Barth, by David Gibson’. Journal of Theological Studies 62, no. 1 (2011), 415–19.
‘A review of Theosis in the Theology of Thomas Torrance, by Myk Habets’. Religious Studies Review 36, no. 4 (2010), 277.
‘A review of Intimate Horizons: The Post-Colonial Sacred in Australian Literature, by Bill Ashcroft, Frances Devlin-Glass and Lyn McCredden’. Colloquium 42, no. 2 (2010), 271–74.
‘A review of SCM Core Text: Christian Doctrine, by Mike Higton’. International Journal of Systematic Theology 12, no. 1 (2010), 100–03.
‘A review of Transformation of the Self in the Thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher, by Jacqueline Mariña’. Journal of Theological Studies 61, no. 1 (2010), 434–39.
‘A review of Introduction to Modern Theology: Trajectories in the German Tradition, by John E. Wilson’. Religious Studies Review 36, no. 2 (2010), 136.
‘A review of Incarnation Anyway: Arguments from Supralapsarian Christology, by Edwin Christian Van Driel’. Journal of Theological Studies 61, no. 2 (2010), 887–90.
‘A review of The Double Rainbow: James K. Baxter, Ngāti Hau and the Jerusalem Commune, by John Newton’. Candour 7 (August 2009), 20–21.
‘A review of Jesus: A Question of Identity by J. Leslie Houlden’. European Journal of Theology 17, no. 2 (2008), 189–90.
‘A review of Barth and Schleiermacher on the Doctrine of Election: A Systematic-Theological Comparison, by Matthias Gockel’. Journal of Theological Studies 59, no. 1 (2008), 415–19.
‘“That God May Have Mercy Upon All”: A Review-Essay of Matthias Gockel’s Barth and Schleiermacher on the Doctrine of Election’. Journal of Reformed Theology 2, no. 2 (2008), 113–30.
‘A review of Jesus: A Question of Identity, by J. Leslie Houlden’. Religious Studies Review 34, no. 1 (2008), 38.
‘A review of Ecumenical and Eclectic: The Unity of the Church in the Contemporary World: Essays in Honour of Alan P.F. Sell, edited by Anna M. Robbins’. Friends of the Congregational Library 3, no. 1–2 (2008), 6–7.
‘A review of Nonconformist Theology in the Twentieth Century, by Alan P.F. Sell’. European Journal of Theology 17, no. 1 (2008), 91–93.
‘A review of On Being the Church of Jesus Christ in Tumultuous Times, by Joe R. Jones’. Religious Studies Review 34, no. 1 (2008), 38–39.
‘A review of The Barth Lectures, by Colin E. Gunton’. Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 26, no. 1 (2008), 116–18.
‘A review of An Introduction to Torrance Theology: Discovering the Incarnate Saviour, edited by Gerrit Scott Dawson’. Princeton Theological Review 14/2, no. 39 (2008), 122–26.
‘A review of Invitation To Dogmatic Theology: A Canonical Approach, by Paul C. McGlasson’. Religious Studies Review 33, no. 1 (2007), 47.
‘A review of Justification in Perspective, edited by Bruce McCormack’. Religious Studies Review 33, no. 2 (2007), 130.
Additional online reviews can be found here.