This work articulates the main problems and questions that arise at the intersection of new materialism and theology. Rather than proffering a particular framework to resolve those problems and questions, the author points toward a variety of ways for engaging with them. The text is divided into three part. Part 1 provides some introductory definitions and historical context for understanding the relationship between new materialism and theology. Part 2 examines the novelty and materiality in new materialism, questioning both categories, while enumerating very new and quite material challenges that new materialism poses to theology. The concluding part considers the theological implications and material possibilities of technological developments for facilitating posthuman or transhuman futures.
This volume examines what it is that makes Anglican theology Anglican. Beginning with a treatment of the ways in which Anglican theology is and is not distinct from other types of Christian theology, the theological features that mark the general boundaries of Anglican theologizing are described before considering a set of eight interconnected characteristics that provide Anglican theology with its distinctive profile. It is argued that, by setting its boundaries as widely as possible and requiring subscription to specific theological propositions as little as possible, Anglican theology is in essence a wisdom theology that seeks to build the capacity for faithful Christian discernment in belief and practice.
Shao Kai Tseng, Barth’s Ontology of Sin and Grace: Variations on a Theme of Augustine, Barth Studies (New York: Routledge, 2019), x + 166 pp., $ 49.95, paperback (ISBN: 9780367664121).
Shao Kai Tseng demonstrated himself to be a serious Barthian scholar with his earlier Karl Barth’s Infralapsarian Theology: Origins and Development, 1920–1953,1 and this monograph continues to substantiate this assessment. Tseng’s focus is on harmatology since it has been a “major driving force behind the development of theological ontology in the Latin tradition since Augustine” (4), and it also has a significant place
This article contrasts two approaches to the via negativa in the work of Colin Gunton and John Calvin. After examining Gunton’s allegation that unbiblical causal and hierarchical commitments within the negative way describe God by projecting the negation of creaturely attributes, it argues that the scriptural exegesis of John Calvin illuminates some of the shortcomings of these critiques. Calvin’s close engagement with scriptural texts about divine alterity demonstrates how the via negativa may be a form of biblical reasoning and highlights the utility of exegesis for discerning the biblical logic of traditional modes of divine naming.
Michael Allen and R. David Nelson, editors, A Companion to the Theology of John Webster (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2021), 366 pp., $ 50, hardcover (ISBN 9780802876744).
The conventions of genre could mean that to review a companion to John Webster’s work is to catalogue a catalogue; but at some point, one must direct readers to Webster himself or, better, to the blessed triune God and his Word whom Webster contemplated in his theology. That said, before or alongside embarking upon such reading, this companion provides context and astute introductions to many publications, theological methods, and themes, such that
Craig A. Carter, Contemplating God with the Great Tradition: Recovering Trinitarian Classical Theism (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021), xviii + 334 pp., $ 32.99, paperback (ISBN: 9781540963307).
Craig A. Carter, Research Professor of Theology at Tyndale University and Theologian in Residence at Westney Heights Baptist Church, offers us a sequel to his 2018 book Interpreting Scripture with the Great Tradition: Recovering the Genius of Premodern Exegesis (Baker Academic).
In the prologue, Carter describes how he became immersed in the “revisionist road” that propagates “a relational view of how God interacts with the world,” and yet he began
J.V. Fesko, The Covenant of Works: The Origins, Development, and Reception of the Doctrine, Oxford Studies in Historical Theology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020), xiv + 306 pp., $ 99, hardcover (ISBN 978-0190071363).
For those outside of the Reformed fold—and even for some within it—the covenant of works appears, to borrow Barth’s description of Calvin, as “something directly down from Himalaya … strange, mythological.” Put most simplistically, the covenant of works describes the first covenant made between God and Adam (and all those ‘in’ Adam), wherein God promises life upon the condition of perfect and perpetual obedience.
Proponents of the modal collapse argument claim that divine simplicity, traditionally conceived, contradicts other Christian commitments about divine freedom and grace by ultimately rendering all God’s acts, including creation and redemption, absolutely necessary. If true, the argument goes, theologians must abandon either God’s simplicity or God’s freedom. The aim of this dilemma is to force the abandonment of simplicity. However, we argue that the modal collapse argument is insufficient to generate this dilemma apart from additional premises—and that these tacit premises are the true locus of dispute.
This first double-issue of the journal’s sixteenth volume marks the transition to new editorial leadership. For a good many years, Eddy Van der Borght has served the journal as Editor-in-Chief, putting so much of his energetic mind, good leadership, and Reformed ecumenical spirit into it, and so decisively contributing to its flourishing. Happily, Eddy will not leave us, but continue as Associate Editor. As the new Editors-in-Chief we feel privileged to serve the journal and we hope to continue and to further develop its fine legacy. Philip has been part of the editorial board for many years already, contributing extensively