[Common Places] Engaging with Kate Sonderegger: Interview (Part 2)

Michael Allen and Scott Swain, editors of Common Places on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Sonderegger_Katherine_photo2014The release of a book within a multi-volume systematic theology project makes for a momentous occasion in the world of systematic theology. Over the last few years a number of such projects have launched, none to greater acclaim or worthy of more significant attention than Katherine Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology. In our first post we introduced and began to explore critically the volume on the Doctrine of God, then we posted the first installment of an interview that Scott Swain and Michael Allen had with Kate Sonderegger about her book, her theological approach, and her upcoming volumes. Now we conclude that interview by considering some substantive decisions made in this volume, regarding substance metaphysics, causality language, and scriptural exegesis that spans the whole canon.

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[Common Places] Engaging with Kate Sonderegger: Interview (Part 1)

Michael Allen and Scott Swain, editors of Common Places on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Sonderegger_Katherine_photo2014The release of a book within a multi-volume systematic theology project makes for a momentous occasion in the world of systematic theology. Over the last few years a number of such projects have launched, none to greater acclaim or worthy of more significant attention than Katherine Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology. In a previous post we introduced and began to explore critically the volume on the Doctrine of God. In this and another post we will make available an interview that Scott Swain and Michael Allen had with Kate Sonderegger. In this post we inquire about her book’s organization, her theological influences, her commitment to monotheism (in light of charges that such a belief leads to hegemony and violence), and how this inaugural volume will relate to her upcoming volumes in…

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[Common Places] Engaging with Kate Sonderegger: The One and the Many

Michael Allen on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Systematic Theology

Systematic Theology, volume one: The Doctrine of GodThe arrival of a new contribution to a multi-volume systematic theology marks a major moment in the discipline. All the more so when the author goes against the grain of much contemporary theology. Kate Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology, volume one: The Doctrine of God is such a book.

Whereas contemporary theology this side of Barth and Rahner has focused on being Christ-centered not only in a soteriological sense but as a methodological key, Sonderegger has decidedly argued that Christology must follow the doctrine of God. So the most determinative factor regarding this volume, at least as it relates to others in its genre in recent decades, involves its character as a study of the one true God rather than the triune nature of…

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: The Divine Names

Scott Swain on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

Gentile_da_Fabriano_052

The perfections of the triune God may be treated profitably under various aspects. Under the aspect of “divine attributes,” God’s perfections are studied as truths about God’s being, always alert to the fact that, properly speaking, God does not have attributes since God is his perfect being, power, wisdom, and love. Under the aspect of “divine goods”—Gregory of Nyssa’s lovely description of the divine perfections—God’s perfections are treated with a view to God’s status as the supreme object of desire and delight, in whose presence is fullness of joy and at whose right hand are pleasures evermore. Both of these approaches are common to natural theology and revealed theology insofar as these disciplines treat God as the efficient and final cause of his creatures.

I have chosen, however, to treat God’s perfections under the aspect of The Divine Names. Though…

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: Sanctification

Michael Allen on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

Thanksgiving_chapel_interior

Writing invariably involves paths both foreseen and surprising. Preparing this volume on sanctification has involved both experiences.

Previous work on soteriology more broadly (The Christ’s Faith: A Dogmatic Account) and justification specifically (Justification and the Gospel: Understanding the Contexts and Controversies) led me to believe that writing a volume on sanctification would be a logical next step for me personally. Furthermore, controversies and debates regarding sanctification have grown increasingly feisty in recent years: they involve not only Christian conversation with non-Christian ideologies regarding morality and ethics (most blatantly evident in disagreements over sexuality and gender), but they also regard internecine discussions amongst evangelicals and even, specifically, between persons in my own Reformed tradition (regarding, e.g., the third use of the law in gospel ministry). For personal and public reasons, then, this writing project appeared needful and…

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: Election

Oliver Crisp on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

crisp_calvin

When thinking about the doctrine of election is it impossible not to stand in the shadow of great thinkers that have gone before. Aside from the biblical witness (where the name of St. Paul looms large), there are figures like St. Augustine of Hippo, John Calvin, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Karl Barth. Of these, Calvin and Barth are the ones with whom I have found the most fruitful dialogue. There is debate about Calvin’s position, of course, but not really about the nature of the view he espoused, but more about the implications and consequences of the doctrine of double predestination he avowed. (This is the notion that God predestines some, the elect, to salvation and in some sense predestines the rest of humanity to perdition as the reprobate.) But debate about the shape of Barth’s view as well as…

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: The Holy Spirit

Christopher Holmes on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,.

sanmarcovenice

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

Psalm 63:3-4

I am grateful for the opportunity to have written The Holy Spirit. It was a wonderful learning exercise because it brought me face-to-face with important tracts of the Christian tradition to which I had become indifferent.

First, in the book I engage a great deal with the Fourth Gospel. The most metaphysical of the Gospels, the Gospel of John encourages us to consider the first principles of our Lord’s own person and the Spirit whom the Father sends in his name. Up until this study, I had embraced a rather negative view of the long and distinguished tradition of theological metaphysics in Christian theology. Caught as…

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: Christology

Daniel J. Treier on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

nativity_wood

Christology is an area of particular dogmatic weakness for evangelical theology. So, when I signed up to write the Christology volume for New Studies in Dogmatics, what did I get myself into? After all, plausible reasons for this evangelical weakness are not hard to generate. For one factor, Christology does not readily provide incentives for dogmatic creativity, at least among those for whom orthodoxy is a priority. For another factor, Christology does not readily generate the kind of widespread, primary disagreement that elicits intra-evangelical dialogue or polemics. Alternatively, for a third factor, evangelical Christology has been externally preoccupied with defending the historicity of miraculous events and appealing to those events for apologetic and evangelistic purposes. Until recently, we have tended to focus on defending the truth, more than exploring the meaning, of such foundational events as the resurrection.

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: The Triune God

Fred Sanders on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

Trinity

When I was invited to write The Triune God for the New Studies in Dogmatics series, I knew what my basic approach to the doctrine would be, what I wanted to say, and how many chapters I was going to try to fit it into. None of that has changed much, nor have I deviated from the outline I started with. But in the process of writing, two major surprises have come up for me. In retrospect, I can see that they flowed naturally from the initial plan, and are consequences of the big decision I made in framing the book. So first I’ll name the big decision, and second I’ll share the surprises that emerged as I carried out the plan.

Big Decision

The most important decision I made in framing the book was to devote about…

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[Common Places] Introduction to New Studies in Dogmatics

Michael Allen and Scott Swain, editors of Common Places on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

New Studies in Dogmatics Series

Over the next few weeks and months, Common Places will be introducing a new series to be published by Zondervan Academic entitled New Studies in Dogmatics. The vision of the series flows from judgments about the past practices of theology, the current state of the discipline, and the hoped for future conversations that we wish to see occurring amongst Christians and churches. The specific vision of the series can be seen in the series preface:

New Studies in Dogmatics follows in the tradition of G. C. Berkouwer’s classic series, Studies in Dogmatics, in seeking to offer concise, focused treatments of major topics in dogmatic theology that fill the gap between introductory theology textbooks and   advanced theological monographs. Dogmatic theology, as understood by editors and contributors to the series, is a conceptual representation of scriptural teaching about God and all…

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[Common Places] New Voices for Theology: Taylor Ruiz-Jones’s “From Siesta to Sabbath”

Franz Bibfeldt on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

A2-finalIn a world of contemporary systematic theologies so often dominated by approaches committed to retrieval, Taylor Ruiz-Jones steps into the fray and signals a critical path forward. I use the word “critical” in its fulsome sense: gesturing toward its methodological approach and noting its contextual significance. My remarks will be brief, but I trust illumining in leading into this work.

Taylor Ruiz-Jones’s From Siesta to Sabbath: A Theology of Pause and Play follows an orderly sequence with a playful tone. First, it addresses the analytics of pause and play, and in so doing it engages in philosophical discussion regarding the appropriate foundations to a Christian and critical approach to dialectic. An excursus reorients the modern documentary hypothesis along Sabbatological lines by tracing redactional layers related to evolving thoughts…

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[Common Places] New Voices for Theology: Jonathan Linebaugh’s God, Grace, and Righteousness in Wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s Letter to the Romans

John M. G. Barclay on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

limbaughGood theology has a shape, a structure: a way of connecting its various themes and motifs via one or more anchor points that fix the framework of the whole.  Hence the most profound attempts at theological comparison dig deeper than the similarity or difference between theologians on this or that motif, and attempt to unearth their respective foundational structures (or discursive grammars).  And sometimes, by digging this deep, the best and most illuminating conclusion is that two different theological structures are simply incommensurable, even if they share on the surface a number of points in common.

Jonathan Linebaugh’s God, Grace, and Righteousness in Wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s Letter to the Romans is a book that with rare acumen digs this deep.  Paul’s theology has often, and…

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