This unique study by Jason Goroncy offers an accessible and constructive way of reading and critiquing the thought of one of 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.
Table of Contents
1. Coming into Focus: Finding Lenses
I. Serviceableness and circumscription
II. Past receptions
III. Forsyth as ‘Theologian of the Cross’: Per Crucem ad Lucem
2. The Moral Is the Real: Location, Landscape, Appropriation
3. Thy Kingdom Come. Thy Will Be Done, on Earth as it Is in Heaven
I. ‘Thy Kingdom Come’
II. Holiness incarnate
III. Christ the hallower
IV. Christ as obedient: ‘To obey is better than sacrifice’
V. The cruciality of the cross: The self-recovery of holiness
4. Hallowed Be Thy Name: Holiness’ Self-Recovery in the Human Conscience
I. Recovering Forsyth’s vision of humanity
II. Forsyth on the human conscience: Moral centre, consanguinity and sphere of redemption
III. Forsyth on the ‘new’ conscience – the conquering and sanctification of humanity’s moral centre
5 .Thine Is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory. Amen
I. For the sins of the world: ‘So that by the Grace of God He Might Taste Death for Everyone’
II. Revising election
III. Pareschatology and the hope of hallowed life
IV. Soteriological universalism qualified
V. Problems with Forsyth’s qualifications
VI. The self-realization, or the frustration, of holiness?
VII. Amen – holiness, ‘the last reality’
By Way of Conclusion: Heaven’s Laughter
‘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
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Ben Nasmith, on Cognitive Resonance (18 July 2015).
Kevin P. Considine, in Horizons 42, no. 1 (2015): 170–72. [pdf]
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André Muller, in Candour 14 (2014): 17–20.
Richard L. Floyd, in Theology Today 70, no. 4 (2014): 467–68.
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Robin Parry, on Theological Scribbles Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Reviewers describe the book as: ‘immense’, ‘marvellous’, ‘wonderful and authoritative’, ‘splendid’, ‘theologically astute and beautifully written’, ‘strong theological scholarship’, ‘a theologically generous and beautifully crafted piece of scholarship’, ‘painstaking exposition’, ‘excellent discussion’, ‘meticulous dissection and exposition’, ‘stimulating’, ‘unusually thorough’, ‘carefully researched and highly informative’, ‘thorough exposition’, a ‘thoughtful, nuanced treatment’, ‘beautifully crafted prose and astute theological judgement’, ‘well-researched, and expertly crafted’, and ‘an excellent study that will be of great value to the academy and (perhaps) beyond’.