3 min read

Personal Thoughts

This is a great systematic theology due to it’s humility, broad exposure to multiple Christian traditions, and critical interaction with modern thought. Seems less formally/comprehensively structured than some other systematics, though I’m not sure whether that’s a value or drawback.

Chapter 1 - Knowledge of God: God reveals Himself

God makes himself known and those who respond to this revelation form a community of belief. There is no approach to God except on His terms and those who would know him must leave unbelieving systems behind.

Hilary on the foolishness of unbelief
Prayer as the necessary context for theology

Appendix 1 - Some Traditional Theistic Proof

Proofs are not without value, but not for convincing unbelievers as much as witness against them and strengthening the faith of those who do believe.

Anselm Ontological Proof
Hume Denial of cause and effect

Chapter 2 - Knowledge of the Triune God through Creation and Conscience

Origins of Human Religion
Know Jesus, Know God. No Jesus, No God
Calvin on Kingdom of God
The witness of an intelligible universe
Those who never heard the gospel
The purpose of all creation to lead us to communion with the Creator

Appendix 1 - Other religions as viewed by the Old Testament

Does God reveal himself by means of other world religions? The answer is an unequivocal “No”. The Fathers tend to split between “Bridge Builders” (Highlighting how Christianity fulfills paganism’s longing, while keeping the good of the philosophical systems) and “Bridge Burners” (Recognizing that false religions form an antithesis with the true knowledge of God). At the end of the day, abandoning falsehood is a good thing and those who mourn the loss of paganism within a culture are not consisten with Scripture.

Materialist Naturalism is just another religion

Appendix 2 - Theologoumenon

Are the Pagans, who Lived Before the Gospel of Christ Came to their Culture, Condemned to Destruction, Since their Religions were Not True Bearers of the Salvation of God in Christ

Those who never heard the gospel

Chapter 3 - Western Rejection of God’s Testimony to Himself in Creation and Conscience (The Continuing Heritage of the Enlightenment)

What lies behind the Western rejection (apostasy) of the revelation of the triune God over the past 3 centuries?

Rationalism and Revolution

Appendix 1 - Testimony of Dostoevsky

Chapter 4 - The God Who Is: the Holy Trinity as One Lord

The Triune God is basic to all of reality. No further proof is needed, but is itself the proof for all other reality.

Why God exists as Three Persons Rather than One Person
God Is His Own Proof

Appendix 1 - The Distinction in Eastern Orthodox Theology Between God’s Essence and His Energies

Chapter 5 - What Kind of Lord He Is: His Transcendence, Beauty and Majesty mean that His Sovereign Control is ‘Good News’

God’s transcendent being and absolute priority as creator of all, his majestic authority over all he has created, and his universal personal control of all reality. This is beautiful and majestic, and is the source of strenth for our earthly journey.

God is not distant
Trinity in the OT
Majesty of God

Appendix 1 - Contemporary Challenges to God’s Lordship

  1. The Darwinian Challenge to God’s Lordship, especially the use of equivocal predication to avoid creation
  2. Openness of God theology
  3. The “non-interventionist” Lord of Marcus Borg

Appendix 2 - Attempts to Know the Lord outside the Community of Faith: 1) How the Jesus Seminar and 2) Ancient and Modern Gnosticism both Remove God’s Lordship

Gnosticism ancient and modern, the evil one’s repeated tricks brought out and each time getting a hearing.

Appendix 3 - Feminist Theology and the Fatherhood of God

The Fatherhood of God

Chapter 6 - The Triune God Makes Himself Known in the Covenant of Grace

Removal from Eden as an act of Grace
NPP Misappropriating 2nd Temple Judaism in NT
God has tied knowledge of himself to a chosen community of faith

Chapter 7 - The One Lord Exists as Three Persons

Trinity in the OT

Chapter 8 - The Christian Church Thinks Through How God is One Being and Three Persons

Why God exists as Three Persons Rather than One Person

Appendix 1 - The differing approaches of the Cappadocians and Augustine to the Trinity

Chapter 9 - The Full Co-equality of the Trinitarian Persons: No Subordinationism

In which he surveys the major church fathers and finds that they were predominantly opposed to any idea of subordination of being in the Trinity. This is speaking specifically of the Ontological Trinity as opposed to the Economical Trinity, in which case there is some order and temporary subordination among the persons of the Godhead.
The Attitude of Heresy to Mystery
The problem of the one and many

Appendix 1 - On the Filioque