- Andy Goodliff draws attention to an upcoming conference – Nil Illegitimi Carborundum: A Conference on Theology, the Church, and Controversy – at the University of Aberdeen from 1–3 July, 2010. Speakers include Robert Jenson, Vigen Guroian, David Bentley Hart, Peter J. Leithart, Carl Trueman, John Webster, Laurence Hemming, Susan Frank Parsons, Markus Mühling, Peter McMylor, Francesca Murphy, and Brian Brock.
- Dave Kirkman rehearses some Calvin and Luther on Christ’s descent into hell.
- David Kerrigan turns to Brueggemann in order to challenge those of us who preach to recognise our calling to be poets in a world of prose.
- Debra Dean Murphy posts on Boutique Discipleship.
- Carl Trueman offers a thought-provoking reflection on Roman Catholicism.
- Mike Gorman is asking about NT introductions.
- Evan Kuehn offers some thoughts on Ryken’s appointment at Wheaton.
- Kent Eilers posts a wonderful excerpt of a sermon by Pannenberg.
- Matt Gerrelts asks ‘What does Hegel mean by Desire?’
- Scott Hamilton posts ‘in defence of brainwashing’.
- Ben Myers, who recently posted twelve wonderful theses on libraries and librarians, also reminds us that the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn’t just sit around and drink lots of tea.
- Steve Harris considers the Lutherans and Locke on faith and reason.
- Rick Floyd turns to Cyril of Alexandria to get some help with a sermon on Luke 13:31–35, and blogs on Is Cyberspace Evil? Thoughts Toward A Christian Ethic of Blogging.
- Finally, a good reflection by Rowan Williams, ‘Out of the abyss of individualism’: ‘… the importance of the family isn’t a sentimental idealising of domestic life; it is about understanding that you grow in emotional intelligence and maturity because of a reality that is unconditionally faithful. In religious terms the unconditionality of family love is a faint mirror of God’s unconditional commitment to be there for us. Similarly, the importance of imaginative life is not a vague belief that we should all have our creative side encouraged but comes out of the notion that the world we live in is rooted in an infinite life, whose dimensions we shall never get hold of. As for the essential character of human mutuality, this connects for me with the Christian belief that if someone else is damaged, frustrated, offended or oppressed, everyone’s humanity is diminished’. Read the rest here.
The latest edition of Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie is out and includes two articles of interest to me:
This article is the attempt at a dialogue with Bruce McCormack about the position he espoused in The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth concerning the relation between God’s Election of grace and God’s Triunity. I had criticized McCormack’s position in my book, Divine Freedom and the Doctrine of the Immanent Trinity (2002), but I did not elaborate on it in great detail. To develop the dialogue I will: 1) consider McCormack’s claim that in CD II/2 Barth made Jesus Christ “rather than” the Eternal Logos the subject of election; 2) consider what Barth means when he speaks of Jesus Christ “in the beginning”; 3) compare McCormack’s thesis that the Father never had regard for the Son, apart from the humanity to be assumed, with Barth’s belief that we must not dispute the eternal will of God which “precedes even predestination”; 4) analyze in detail McCormack’s rejection of Barth’s belief that the logos asarkos in distinction from the logos incarnandus is a necessary concept in trinitarian theology; 5) discuss Barth’s concept of the divine will in relation to the concept advanced by McCormack and suggest that McCormack has fallen into the error of Hermann Schell by thinking that God in some sense takes his origin from himself, so that God would only be triune if he elected us; 6) explain why it is a problem to hold, as McCormack does, that God’s self-determination to be triune and his election of us should be considered one and the same act; and finally 7) explain McCormack’s confusion of time and eternity in his latest article on the subject in the February, 2007 issue of the Scottish Journal of Theology, and his own espousal of a kind of indeterminacy on God’s part (which he theoretically rejects).
‘The Difference Totality Makes. Reconsidering Pannenberg’s Eschatological Ontology’, by Benjamin Myers (pp. 141-155)
Summary Wolfhart Pannenberg’s eschatological ontology has been criticised for undermining the goodness and reality of finite creaturely differentiation. Drawing on David Bentley Hart’s recent ontological proposal, this article explores the critique of Pannenberg’s ontology, and offers a defence of Pannenberg’s depiction of the relationship between difference and totality, especially as it is presented in his 1988 work, Metaphysics and the Idea of God. In this work, Pannenberg articulates a structured relationship between difference and totality in which individual finite particularities are preserved and affirmed within a coherent semantic whole. Creaturely differences are not sublated or eliminated in the eschatological totality, but they are integrated into a harmonious totality of meaning. This view of the semantic function of totality can be further clarified by drawing an analogy between Pannenberg’s ontological vision and Robert W. Jenson’s model of the eschatological consummation as a narrative conclusion to the drama of finite reality.