The Visibility of the Invisible God

in Journal of Reformed Theology
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This article addresses the potential theological impact that the beatific vision might have regarding the (in)visibility of the triune God. First, we will consider the roots of the doctrine of divine invisibility within the classical theological tradition. Second, we should turn to the biblical promise of the beatific vision and the ways in which its scriptural exposition touches upon the divine character. Third, we will unpack the Trinitarian shape of God’s (in)visibility. Fourth, then, we will be in a position to reflect upon the claims that God is invisible and visible, their theological merits, and their synthetic relations.

The Visibility of the Invisible God

in Journal of Reformed Theology

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References

1

Friedrich SchleiermacherThe Christian Faith (ed. H.R. Mackintosh and J.S. Stewart; Philadelphia: Fortress1976) 719–720.

3

Hans Schwarz“Eschatology,” in Christian Dogmatics (ed. Carl Braaten and Robert Jenson; Minneapolis: Fortress 1984) 2:475–588; Hans Schwarz Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 2000).

7

Wolfhart PannenbergSystematic Theology (trans. Geoffrey Bromiley; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans1998) 3:577. He also offers an oblique reference to how the phrase “entering into” in Mt 5:8 likely refers to the vision of God (528 fn 7).

10

Ibid.722.

11

Ibid.718.

12

Ibid.720.

13

Ibid.721.

14

Ibid.722.

15

Hans BoersmaHeavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans2011).

25

Paul L. GavrilyukThe Suffering of the Impassible God: The Dialectics of Patristic Thought (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: Oxford University Press2006).

27

Wolfgang MusculusLoci communes sacrae theologiae (3rd ed.; Basel: Johann Herwagen1573) I.iii; ET: Commonplaces of Christian Religion (London: R. Wolfe 1563) 8. See Richard A. Muller Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy ca. 1520 to ca. 1725 Volume 3: The Divine Essence and Attributes (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic 2003) 299.

31

MillerLord of the Psalms31.

36

Hans BoersmaEmbodiment and Virtue in Gregory of Nyssa: An Anagogical Approach (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: Oxford University Press2013) 91.

37

Michel René Barnes“The Visible Christ and the Invisible Trinity: Mt. 5:8 In Augustine’s Trinitarian Theology of 400,” Modern Theology 19 no. 3 (2003) 346.

38

See D.A. CarsonThe Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans1991) 129–130. Carson traces the terminology of Exod. 34:6–7 (hesed and ʾemet) through the Old Testament Septuagint and into intertestamental Judaism.

43

Gavrilyuk“God’s Impassible Suffering In the Flesh” 139.

44

Gavrilyuk“God’s Impassible Suffering In the Flesh” 148.

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