Divine Simplicity: Christ the Crisis of Metaphysics

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9780801048999: Divine Simplicity: Christ the Crisis of Metaphysics
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A Fresh Articulation of the Unity of God

This volume critiques various ways divine simplicity--which suggests God's being is identical to God's attributes--has shaped Christian theology and offers a fresh articulation of the unity of God. The author proposes that the concept of divine simplicity, carried over from the Greek metaphysical tradition, was heedlessly incorporated into the language of Christian trinitarian theology during the patristic period. He identifies numerous problems that have resulted from its retention in postpatristic Christian dogmatics, arguing that uncritical use of the concept renders the biblical God inexpressible and unknowable. This major contribution to contemporary trinitarian dogmatics also contains a unique approach to the problem of Christian-Muslim relations.

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"This is an impressive book--as biblical as it is philosophical, as creative as it is scholarly, as innovative as it is judicious. Hinlicky has produced a work of rare quality in systematic theology, and any reader of theology interested in the doctrine of God would be wise to read Divine Simplicity with the careful engagement it both demands and deserves."
--Tom Greggs, University of Aberdeen

"The thesis of this penetrating study is twofold. Negatively, the classical understanding of 'simplicity' arrived at through an 'ascending' use of natural reason consists in a timeless self-identity that results in agnosticism. In doing so, it drives a wedge between what God is as wholly ineffable 'substance' and who God reveals God's Self to be as triune, such that the attachment of the latter to the former is a strategy preordained to failure. Positively, the unity of God that 'simplicity' would like to secure consists in the perichoretic communion of trinitarian persons (socially elaborated and eschatologically realized). The Christology commensurate with this understanding of 'simplicity' prizes the unity of the christological person over any and every alleged dialectic of 'natures' and achieves this unity through emphasis on a two-way communication between the divine Person and the human 'nature.' I agree almost entirely with Hinlicky's diagnosis of the problems attending the concept of 'simplicity.' On the other hand, I have reservations with regard to the proposed solution--which will not surprise the author. Still, this is a book to be warmly welcomed! A clear and decisive response to the growing hegemony of defenders of the utterly simple God has been much needed. One can only hope that it will get a wide reading."
--Bruce McCormack, Princeton Theological Seminary

"With this probing study, constructive theologian Paul R. Hinlicky proposes to bring the reality of God back into the center of contemporary theology. Hinlicky asks important and necessary questions concerning divine simplicity as he works toward his account of the trinitarian God of love. The book is a model for working at the intersection of biblical studies, philosophy, and the Christian theological tradition."
--Christine Helmer, Northwestern University

"With his usual clarity, Hinlicky shows that it is possible to defend both a strong trinitarian theology and a consistent monotheism. He leads the reader pedagogically through the depths of manifold Western traditions. Simplicity appears to be an issue that is both holy and profound."
--Risto Saarinen, University of Helsinki

From the Inside Flap:

"Like Paul Hinlicky's earlier book on divine complexity, this one too lets the reader overhear a wonderful set of critical and constructive conversations between its author and a wide range of key thinkers--an intricate dialogue that leads finally to a deeper understanding of the Triune God. At stake in the conversations is the truth of the gospel and its promise, both of which are given conceptual clarity through a modified social model of the Trinity. The author's own interventions along that dialogical path make clear his own robust affirmation of the Three in the gospel narrative as the one living and true God (but not simply so). Particularly convincing are Hinlicky's insightful, creative analysis and trenchant critique of the ways in which Western philosophical-metaphysical assumptions, when infused into Christian dogma, undermine that gospel promise. This book will benefit both the seasoned scholar and the theology student who wants to 'think with' one of the living masters in the discipline. This is a book that I highly recommend."
--Matthew L. Becker, Valparaiso University

"In this exhilarating study, Paul Hinlicky makes a bold case for a 'weak' or 'eschatological' doctrine of divine simplicity, grounding his argument in the biblical narrative of the unity of the one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hinlicky engages thoughtfully the classical 'protological' doctrine of simplicity, tracing its origins in the pre-Socratics and examining critically the appropriations of simplicity found in the works of Augustine and Aquinas. His plea is for a revised doctrine of simplicity that coheres better with the biblical narrative of a God who enters into relation with creatures and moves history forward toward the realization of the 'Beloved Community.' This passionately argued study reflects not only Hinlicky's wide reading in historical and contemporary sources but also, and just as important, his living commitment to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Christian God, says Hinlicky, is not locked away impenetrably in the vault of classical, protological simplicity but really given, made knowable to us in the mystery of the divine self-revelation as Father, Son, and Spirit."
--Mickey L. Mattox, Marquette University

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Book Description Baker Publishing Group, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A Fresh Articulation of the Unity of God This volume critiques various ways divine simplicity--which suggests God s being is identical to God s attributes--has shaped Christian theology and offers a fresh articulation of the unity of God. The author proposes that the concept of divine simplicity, carried over from the Greek metaphysical tradition, was heedlessly incorporated into the language of Christian trinitarian theology during the patristic period. He identifies numerous problems that have resulted from its retention in postpatristic Christian dogmatics, arguing that uncritical use of the concept renders the biblical God inexpressible and unknowable. This major contribution to contemporary trinitarian dogmatics also contains a unique approach to the problem of Christian-Muslim relations. Seller Inventory # AA79780801048999

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