Notes on Theological Knowledge

There is no small chance that Matthew 16:15-17 contains all that is necessary for a theological epistemology. The knowledge of Jesus that is articulated here is a product of nothing else than God’s own activity, God’s own revealing action, within the context of reconciliation. There are a number of things that can be drawn out here. First, the knowledge of God that is articulated here is a product of grace: God’s own free action to reveal himself. It is only through God’s own action that God is revealed. This first point implies a second point: that if the knowledge of God is had by grace alone, it is a gift. A third point: knowledge of God is knowledge of God, and as such revelation of God is revelation of reconciliation. We can even go a bit further than that and say, with Barth, that revelation is reconciliation. Fourth: if revelation is reconciliation, then necessarily the setting for revelation is the covenant within which God acts towards the world (the covenant is the internal basis of creation and creation is the external basis of the covenant). Continue reading

A Triune Monarchy: T.F. Torrance’s Correction of Karl Barth’s Doctrine of the Trinity

Perhaps the sharpest way to phrase a major difference between Barth and Torrance on the Trinity is that Torrance had no place for the subordination that Barth built into his doctrine of the Trinity. This is, of course, not news to readers of Barth: his understanding of the eternal subordination of the Son is one of the key distinctions of his theology. Torrance resisted this subordinationism on the grounds that Barth had read elements of the economy into the immanent Trinity, and set out to correct Barth on this point. The plainest way to state the differences between the two here is this: Barth follows the Cappodicians in assigning (for lack of a better term) monarchy (or principle of Godhead) to the Father alone, while Torrance follows Athanasius in assigning monarchy to the Trinity as a whole. Indeed, for Torrance, this just is the definition of monarchy, ‘the one ultimate principle of Godhead, in which all three divine Persons share equally, for the whole indivisible Being of God belongs to each of them as it belongs to all of them’ (Torrance, Trinitarian Perpsectives, p. 112) Continue reading

Book Review: ‘Barth and Rationality: Critical Realism in Theology’, by D. Paul La Montagne

Barth and Rationality: Critical Realism in Theology‘, by D. Paul La Montagne,  Cascade Books, 248 pp.  $29.00

First and foremost, this is a good book. There is a lot that is offered here, and anyone remotely interested in Barth, theological epistemology, theological method and any number of related fields will find this a valuable contribution. There are a number of creative angles on Barth, stemming from D. Paul La Montagne’s familiarity with the philosophy of science and philosophy of mathematics. These are approaches to Barth that are not often taken, and if they are taken, are not often fleshed out to the degree they ought to be. La Montagne fleshes this out at length, and the result is an interpretation of Barth’s theology, methodology and epistemology that is in conversation with contemporary developments in philosophy of science and mathematics. This is not a common combination.

Continue reading

Book Review: ‘The Anointed Son: A Trinitarian Spirit Christology’, by Myk Habets

The Anointed Son: A Trinitarian Spirit Christology‘, by Myk Habets, Pickwick Publications, 340 pp. $39.00

In this constructive volume, Myk Habets seeks to rehabilitate an aspect of christology that has long been overlooked and overshadowed: pneumatology. The role of the Spirit, Habets argues, ought to be fundamental in christology, and thinking pneumatologically in christology will enrich and even correct Christian thinking on this topic. The sparring-partner (and, at times, almost-bogeyman) of Spirit christology is classical orthodox Logos christology, though Habets does not seek to remove or replace Logos christology so much as supplement and augment it with a dynamic theology of the Spirit. Continue reading

Anomalous Monism as Transcendental Freedom?

The Kantian doctrine of freedom turns on the idea that the acting agent is neither fully part of nature nor fully outside of nature. Nature, on this doctrine, is a totally causal system governed by strict laws of necessity. The acting agent is self-governed (according to Kant) by reason and bound by the moral law, and it would make no sense for the agent to be bound by the moral law if he wasn’t free to obey the moral law. Freedom here is a condition for the possibility of duty – the agent must be free from the causal/necessitarian order of nature, in other words. Whether or not Kant’s doctrine as a whole can withstand scrutiny is a matter of debate, but surely his fundamental insight is worth reflecting on: the possibility of free agency requires that the free agent not be subject to strict causal laws. Jaegwon Kim, in Psychophisical Laws, notes that Donald Davidson’s theory of anomalous monism was developed out of roughly Kantian concerns – Davidson accepts a picture of the physical world that is fully and causally determined, but wants to retain a place for mental autonomy and the possibility of free agency. Continue reading

HUGE SALE!!!

{mostly} Smiling Sticks

5sale

If you’d like to get ahead on your Christmas shopping and save lots of money I suggest you check out the awesome sale that Society6 is offering! You’ll get $5 off EVERY item you purchase AND free shipping! Talk about a deal! Just click the image above to be taken to my page! (:

{If you’d like to check out some of my older photography products – click here!}

Have a beautiful day! ♥

Madeline Audrey

View original post