The Hermeneutics of Doctrine

Thiselton, Anthony C.
Eerdmans (2008)
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The best, though admittedly partial, review that a book can have is a well-written introduction and Thiselton's is one of the best I have ever read. He argues clearly and coherently for a hermeneutics (cf Study Sheet 138: Hermeneutics) of doctrine to be set alongside a hermeneutics of exegesis.

Thiselton introduces his justification with a lengthy and well argued series of illustration, leaning heavily on the ground-breaking work of Gadamer, the linguistics of Wittgenstein and the winningly open horizon of understanding of Pannenberg. He then goes on to examine a hermeneutics of doctrine more or less following the order of the Apostles Creed, handling all the major subjects from creation to eschatology but those who have a lively interest in contemporary theological controversy will notice his omission of the virgin birth and relish his treatment of 'original sin' and 'the fall'. His treatment of the controversies of the Reformation, particularly justification by faith through grace, is masterly and the book is worth reading for this alone.

This is no book for beginners, not just because of its highly technical and densely sourced content but also because much of what he means to say is implicit rather than being as explicit as it might be; and it takes some concentration to hold onto a somewhat tenuous argument when the organisation of the text is weak.

Thiselton says that his exposition does not attempt a systematic theology; but one wishes that he had. As a faith based so incontrovertibly on Scripture, we have allowed some of our doctrinal development to run somewhat wild. It is therefore comforting to reflect that, in the context of this analysis, we have not gone too far wrong too often which reminds me that the treatment of the Holy Spirit is particularly good.

Specialists will enjoy the rich chunks of philosophical fruit, from the significance of speech-acts to the multi-faceted and extremely judicious treatment of Kant and so rich is the mixture as a whole that the occasional infelicity of phrasing and organisation is easily overlooked. More dependent on Ricoeur than Rahner, Pannenberg than Barth and Wittgenstein than Heidegger, the thesis is refreshingly eclectic and unstuffy.

Not a book for the faint-hearted but certainly a brave work which will be of particular relevance to Roman Catholics and those of a strict Evangelical persuasion who will find themselves challenged by the multiplicity of approaches which call into question a rigid adhesion to a single hermeneutic axiom.

Study Notes

The following Study Notes are not an evenly emphatic collelction but reflect the author's particular interests.

Page numbers in brackets are cited at the end of pages from which material has been taken.

Introduction (pXVI)

In the 20th Century, Hermeneutics has made a major impact on exegesis but not doctrine (pXVI). According to Gadamer, Hermeneutics is "keeping oneself open to the other"; and it is communal not individual, rooted in Vico (pXVII). Christian doctrine is also communal (pXVIII). Hauerwas sees doctrine not only in terms of living out "The narrative of God" but also as focussing on: "What kind of community the church must be to rightly tell the stories of God". Heyduck connects the marginalisation of doctrine with individualism and individfual-centred epistemology, the replacement of ecclesiology by personal belief. The isolation of doctrine from life (Heyduck and Rahner). "Biblical hermeneutics explores levels of meaning, strategies of reading, historical distance, appropriation, engagement, and formation, and often features patient and attentive listening. The relationshp between text, community, and tradition remains constantly in view. Can these habits of mind, with the historical, intellectual, and moral resources of hermeneutics, be placed at the service of understanding, exploring, appropriating, and applying Christian doctrine?" (Summary of text (pXX).

"Hermeneutical enquiry is incompatible with overly easy generalization and categorization" (pXXI).

Part 1. - Reasons to Explore The Hermeneutics of Doctrine (p1)

Chapter 1. - From Abstract Theory to Life-Related Hermeneutics (p3)

1.1 Gadamer's Contrast between "Problems" and "Questions that Arise" (p3)

"The horizon of the present cannot be formed without the past ... Understanding is the fusion of these two horizons ... distance must not be covered up in a naive assimilation of the two" (Gadamer) (p4). Attribution to Kant of ideas as "abstractions divorced from the situations that gave them birth and they 'exist like stars in the sky'." (Gadamer). They are fixed, self-grounded and unmoving, the paradigm of timeless, unhistorical rationalism, which cannot be sustained in the light of "hermeneutical experience" (Gadamer). The Christian doctrine of creation did not arise initially from asking questions about the origins of the world, but from gratitude for human life and existence set within the beauty of the world. Doctrine does not arise from intellectual puzzlement but from worship. (Justo L. Gonzalez) (p5). The problems of concepts outside of their context. Conflict in the Pauline church gave rise to "the inevitability of doctrine" (McGrath) (p7).

1.2 Christian Confessions and Their Life-Contexts (p8)

Pauline confessions of faith were practical, not theoretical (p9). Culmann on creeds (p10). "Jesus is Lord" is not an abstract proposition but is a "spoken act of personal devotion and commitment which is part and parcel of Christ-centred worship and lifestyle" (p11). Confessions in Paul concern worship, baptism and preaching as part of the Christian life; also relates to orthodoxy (Neufeld) (p12-13). Kelly queries Harnack's 'doctrine light' (my term - KC) liberalism (p13). Speech-acts of commitment that lead to a "rule of faith" in subapostolic and early patristic times (Neufeld). Polycarp's trial and dispositional belief (p15-16). Irenaeus contra Valentinian gnosticism formulates a Creed for a context as a public act (cf Wittgenstein) (p16). Clement of Alexandria and a communal creed. Tertullian and creeds protecting catholicity (p17). Systematic theology followed with Origen (p18).

Chapter 2. - Dispositional Accounts of Belief (p19)

2.1 Mental States and Dispositional Belief in Wittgenstein (p19)

The clearest and most sytematic account of dispotional belief comes from H.H. Price who contrasts it with belief as occurrence (p19). We mourn as an expression of mourning, not to tell somebody something, so believing in the first person is a similar disposition (Wittgenstein); habit, commitment and action; Price on utterance as performance (p20). "Belief ... is action-oriented, situation-related, and embedded in the particularities and contingencies of everyday living" and Wittgenstein's internal grammar of belief. "Action, contingency, particularity and the public world of embodied life constitute part of the very grammar of what it is to believe. ... I argue that these features stand at the hear of a hermeneutics of doctrine." (Thiselton. Wittgenstein opposite of a behaviourist, links belief with character-forming (p21). Wittgenstein contra private language (p22-24). 1 John on love and action (p24-25).

2.2 Dispositional Accounts of Belief in H.H. Price ... (p27)

Like  Wittgenstein, Price stresses The action-related character of belief-utterances, re: J.L. Austin on speech-acts (p27). Emerging belief (in The Holy Spirit) in Origen, Athanasius and Basil (p28-29). Contra Heyduck, dispositional belief does not bypass nor exclude epistemology (p30). Dispositional belief and unbelief in Jonah (p31-32). Dallas High (p32-34).

2.3 From The New Testament to Patristic Doctrine ... (p34)

Von Harnack and Hellenization: "simple" Jesus; "Faithful Paul; but "... the decisive thing was the conversion of the Gospel into a doctrine, into an absolute philosophy of religion"; gnosticism forced Christianity to Hellenise and secularise: The religion of the heart passes into the religion of custom, Hellenism is the greatest factor in the 2nd Century (p34). With the (notable) exception of the Reformation, liberal Harnack largely sees doctrine as tragic; Schweitzer and Warner on de-eschatologisation, replacing it with God's presence and Sacraments; the crisis of delayed Parousia (p35). Dispositional belief produces continuity (p36); 2nd Century dispositional responses to heresy (p38-39). H.E.W. Turner on Bauer on heresy (p39). Key doctrinal changes are not in 2nd Century but following it (p40). Supporting doctrinal evidence (p41-2).

Chapter 3. - Forms of Life, Embodiment and Place (p43)

3.1 Communal Confessions in Israel's Life (p43)

The Jewish Shema is a theological confession; faith constiututed in re-telling (p44). Impact of this (praxis) tradition on Eucharistic understanding; remembering as participation; Eucharist and Mishnah (p45). The link between the dispositional and doctrine; Cartesianism alien to the NT; "body means that piece of the world which we are" (Kasemann) (p46). The "reality of our being in the world" makes Christian faith and obedience expressible; and only when it becomes personal does it become credible (Kasemann) (p47). C of E: power, money sex and time (p48-50).

3.2 Embodiment in Christian Traditions, ... (p50)

Plato's dualism can be exaggerated but was the root of more radical dualism in gnosticism (p51). "The legacy of Plato has lived on in popular versions of Christianity". "Nietsche is right when he says that Christianity is Platonism for the people" (Heidegger) (p52) but this is not New Testament (p53). Inge and the importance of the everyday in Christian discipleship; the importance of place (broueggemann) (p454). Incarnation as sacrament, place and particularity (p55).

3.3 "Life" and "Forms of Life" ... (p55)

Dilthey, rationalitst, empiricists and critical philosphers too mind-centred "no blood flows" (p56). The hermeneutical dialectic of the general and the particular; Dilthey over-generalises (Gadamer) (p57). Apel (on Dilthey and Wittgenstein), hermeneutics is participating not observing: "... the entanglement of linguistic usage with the situational reference of the life-form in the language-game" (Apel); public grammar and behaviourism in Wittgenstein (p59).

Chapter 4. - The mHermeneutics of Doctrine as a Hermeneutic of Temporal and Communal Narrative (p62)

4.1 Time, Temporality and Narrative ... (p62)

"God is known through God alone" (Barth) "discourse about himself that he has authorized" (Pannenberg); "Human reflection upon the revelation of God in Jesus ... and upon the faith of the Church" (Rahner); also Aquinas and Calvin (p62). Pannenberg and Barth: this does not exclude debate; theology is fallible; "Doctrines ... are ways in which the church ... has sought to clarify what is heard from God. ... one of the most common errors in the life of the church ... has been to confuse doctroine with God" (Gonzalez); god lives in history so doctrine evolves; saying that doctrine comes from God means the opposite of abstraction (p63). Revelation is "... an historical dialogue between God and man in which something happens", it necessarily exists through the historical process, a balance between the definitive (how it can be explicated) and living, growing awareness in faith  (Rahner) (p64). Paving the way for Christian doctrine as narrative or drama; Narration implies meaning and invites hermeneutical enquiry; expectation, attention and memory; open to the future and temporally conditioned; not deductive nor inductive but active (Ricoeur) (p65). The narrative tendency springs from the narrative material (Macgrath) (p67)

4.2 Christian Doctrine as Dramatic Narrative in von Balthasar (p68)

"Theology stuck on the sandbank of rational abstraction" (von Balthasar) (p68). Dramatic tension (p69). Paul and drama (p70).

4.3 Doctrine as Drama in Kevin Vanhoozer ... (p73)

Vanhoozer follows von Balthasar in an American context and adopts a "canonical/linguistic" apprach, entering into dialogue with the evangelical world. Abandooning drama explains the weakness of doctrine where "feeling is believing"; far from being an abstract theory, doctrine is "the stuff of life" (p73-74), relates to Rowan Williams on celebration, communication and meaning, and criticism. Doctrine is a response to something beheld (Vanhoozer) (p74). Epic and lyric in Hegel and Vanhoozer (p76). Thiselton and Vanhoozer's lack of the propositional (p77). Vanhoozer and LIndbeck (p89).

Chapter 5. - Formation, Education and Training in Hermeneutics and Doctrine (p81)

5.1 ... in Gadamer, Ricoeur and Hetti (p81)

Agreement that hermeneutics is transformative but not doctrine. The formative power of communal commitment (Cranmer) (p81). Formation and transformation in Gadamer and Kierkegaard (p82). Formation in hermeneutics refers to character forming (Newman); tradition and actualising in Wittgenstein (p83). Gadamer's illustration of interpreting music, enlarging horizons (p84). Always a text behind the text and narcissism (Ricoeur) (p85). Betti: "you can't think differently if you don't want to hurt yourself" (p87).

5.2 Training and Application in Wittgenstein and Wells (p88)

Training and character formation in doctrine, decision and action in Wells (p88), related to performance and hermeneutics; shared tradition more important than instant response; reincorporation and memory (p89).

5.3 More on Gadamer and Wittgenstein ... (p91)

The application of laws and hermeneutics in Gadamer (p91). Wittgenstein on philosophical plurality (p92). Wittgenstein and the importance of praxis and Wells' dialectic of habit, training and wisdom and performance and improvisation; Ryle on training and drill (p93). Explanation is a check against misunderstanding but is not creative (Witgenstein) (p94). Application of these concepts to hermeneutics (p97).

Chapter 6. - Formation through a Hermeneutic of Alterity and Provocation (p98)

6.1 Formation through Encounter with The Other: Jauss (p98)

"Jauss explores the concepts of 'otherness' and 'provocation' in the context of his exposition of reception history. ... and approaches the reading of texts from the standpoint of history, and especially in literary history." Changing situations alter successive re-reading; and these changes alter the reader's horizon of expectation, impacting situations (p98). 1. The shallowness of historical objectivism; 2. Literary experience takes place within a horizon of expectation (p99); 3. Whether a text is appropriated or rejected, it re-shapes the horizon; 4. Altered horizons trigger questions; 5. The historical unfolding of understanding; 6/7. Lived praxis rather than value neutral 'representation" (p100). Seeing the other through the eyes of the other and as a catalyst to seeing the self (p101). Ormond Rush on Jauss (p102). Rush on hermeneutics and doctrine (p13).

6.2 ... Tracy and The Classic (p104)

Tracy on "fundamental" thwology open to public questioning and "systematic" theology (doctrine) only open to the Church; hermeneutics is practical theology (p109)

6.3 More Explicit Language on Doctrine as Formative ... (p109)

Classics only survive if they provoke (Tracy) (p109). The formative power of surprise (p110). Classics: pre-exposure; exposure to claims; initiating dialogue; reflecting on its history of efffect; communicating. Hermeneutics as a challenge to mastery and control (p111). Classics should not be "hedged" (p112). "science has again become historical and hermeneutical". Tracey exaggerates autonomy (cf Kant); and too easily attributes all experience of the ultimate to religion (Thiselton) (p113). Tracey's achievements: allows hermeneutical theoretical resources to bear on doctrine; demonstrates the formative effect of hermeneutics; positive role for explanation and understanding (pro ricoeur, contra Gadamer) (p114).

Part Two: Replies to Possible Objections

Chapter 7. - Dialectic in Hermeneutics and Doctrine: Coherence and Polyphony (p119)

7.1 Coherence and Contingency ... (p119)

Schleiermacher: theologians only call on hermeneutics to support their conclusions (p120); but hermeneutics will always be incomplete and doctrine resists provisionality. J.S. Zimmermann (in a not altogether coherent thesis) on Schleiermacher and Kant "silencing the word". Attack on "disembodied" knowledge (p121). Thiselton: doctrine based on hermeneutics (Protestantism) can be no safer than hermeneutics. Catholic confidence in philosophical hermeneutics (p122). Contemporary Vatican evaluation of hermeneutics rejecting its purpose of confirming doctrine (p123). Lash says hermeneutics and theology are not like relay runners passing the baton (p124). Paul's hermeneutic informing doctrine; from core to detail. Objections come from piecemeal positivists in biblical studies and static theology. Pannenberg on coherence but incompleteness (p125).

7.2 Does a ... Hermeneutical Approach Exclude Epistemology? (p126)

Pannenberg: "Knowledge of God is made possible by God"; consensus does not justify doctrine; Pannenberg contra Heyduck who associates doctrine with belief, associating epistemology with foundationalism and modernism, saying that doctrine is based on ecclesiology not publicly debateable truth-claims (p126). Pannenberg on the working dialectic between coherence and contingency. The Bible offers a grand sweep from creation to eschatology but is full of the particular (Baukham). Heyduck: doctrine is a mark of ecclesial identity (p127). Hard foundationalism in Descartes and soft foundationalism in Locke (p129). Pannenberg's reply to the Heyduck implication that no truth is sustainable: "Only conviction of the divine truth of the Christian religon can establuish and justify the continual existence of the churches" (p131). "Hermeneutics is what we get when (we) are no longer hermeneutical", it is about "edification" or "coping" rather than "knowing and understanding"; but this understanding of Gadamer (and Wittgenstein) is open to doubt; Gadamer rejects the individualism of 'hard fundamentalism' but affirms the Sensus Communis and Phronesis, through Vico to a hermeneutical mode of engaging with truth (Rorty) (p132). "There is no way of getting the world "right" because "there is no way the world is" (Rorty); but later writings appeal to community (p133).

7.3 Different Understanding of Dialectic ... (Bakhtin) (p134)

Bakhtin characterises Plato, Hegel or Marx as monological, ie propositions separable from their source (p134); in Hegel &c a system can be comprehended by any consciousness with sufficient intellectual power. Bakhtin's Sobornost coheres with communal Christian doctrine and hermeneutics; distinguishes participation in dialogue and observers of monolougue (cf Kierkegaard); "only error individualises" (Bakhtin) (p135). "Intersubjectivity the paradigm of dialectic" (Bakhtin). Bakhtin on polyphony crucial but undefined but nothing in common with relativism (making it unnecessary) nor dogmatism (making it impossible). If Karamazof is "more than one book" so is the Bible which requires "a plurality of consciousness", different consciousnesses.

Balthasar on symphony orchestras (p136); Christ the paradigm of symphonic truth; comments on definitions (p137). Hegel and Kierkegaard on the meaning of "system" (p138). System of coherence in Pannenberg, contingency provisionality and surprise. System as self-regulating stability in Habermas (p13(; coupling systems with life-world, historically conditioned reason; modernist systems de-coupling in Bowker (p140). System  as coherence, foundation and boundary but not finality (p141). Bakhtin and Einstein (p142). Important for a hermeneutics of doctrine: the canon is not aritifially contrived; integrity without artificial harmonisation (caveat conflation of harmonisation and uniformity - KC) (p143).

Chapter 8. - Can a Docrine as "Science" Remain Hermeneutical and Promote Formation? (p145)

8.1 Science, Theological Science, ... (Torrance) (p145)

Torrance: hermeneutics and natural science share the same problem: how we do not intrude ourselves into the picture but how to retain the place of the human subject (p146). Objectivity in Torrance and Gadamer different from detachment (p147); "Natural science does not simply describe and explain nature; it is part of the interplay between ourselves" (Heisenberg) and different ways of explaining (Oppenheimer). Torrance on scientific theology: 1. The lordship of the object (p148); 2. The personal nature of the object, as Christ both person and word; 3. The Word of God creates a community of conversation which correspons as far as possible with the objectivity of the object and God's glory; 4. Jesus Christ as the self-objectification of God; 5. Historical objectivity of incarnation (p149). These initiate transformative effects (p150).

8.2 Coherence, Cognition , ... (Lonergan) (p150)

Lonergan on classical science and certainty, contemporary science and probability; the decline of Neewtonian perceptualism (p150). Lonergan's heuristic structures of empirical method (p151); common sense is an intellectual development; Lonergan, Kant and relativism (p152). "What am I doing when I know and what do I know when I do it"?"; be attentive, intellgient, reasonable, responsible; declaring (explaining) and taking a stand (understanding) different in method rather than content (p153); Theological method: research, interpretation but objectivity is an illusion, there is no "empty head"; understanding signs involves experience, intelligence and judgment of the interpreter; understanding is not deductive but self-learning; not elitist but our common sense and the recognition of the common sense of others (p154); ultimately theology is personal in taking a stand rather than narration (p155); the formative and transformative (Longergan) (p156).

8.3 Coherence, System, ... (Pannenberg) (p156)

Pannenberg: scientific theology depends on external relation to other disciplines and internal coherence (p156); rejects logical positivism, sympathises with Popper; scientific laws are special cases (p157); understanding operates in a frame of reference and explanation may provide a framework for understanding but understanding does not pre-suppose an explanation. "Hermeneutic (is) a methodology for understanding meaning ... the relation of parts to whole within a structure" (Pannenberg) (p158). Theology as a science: evaluation of the implication of statements; coherence as a minimum requirement (p159). Theology transformative not self-affirming "to understand all being in relation to God" (p160); Pannenberg on doctrine and hermeneutics (p161-162).

8.4 Proposals Regarding Research ... (Lakatos & Murphy) (p162)

"philosophy of religion without theology is empty; theology without philosophy of religion is blind" (Murphy) (p163). Murphy and the liberal fundamentalist dichotomy (p164); Lakatos on research (p165-166); Lakatos, Popper and Kuhn (p167); Whether something is a fact or theory is a methodological decision, "The clash is not 'between theories and facts' but between two high-level theories: between an interpretative theory to provide the facts and an explanatory theory to explain these" (Lakatos) (p167-168); resonance between Lakatos, Gadamer and Wittgenstein (p168); Thiselton on Kuhn, Popper and Murphy (p169-171).

Part Three: Major Themes in Christian Doctrine (p177)

Chahpter 9. - Varied Horizons of Understanding for The Hermeneuutics of Being Human (p177)

9.1 ... The Hermeneutics of Relationality (p177)

Horizons of understanding relating to meaning and communication; a "biblical theology" would only need a "home" hermeneutic but doctrine requires a multiplicy of horizons in the public world (p177-178).

Does personhood depend on a relational understanding of "God? This relationship assumed in creator and creature; creation in freedom an act of love (Moltmann, Pannenenberg) (178-179); in the image of God and its different senses in Irenaeus &c; the axiom that understanding self involves relationship to God in Calvin &c (p179). Relationality as reciprocal in Calvin (p180); Shults and the gospel of grace; medical horizon at the other extreme from theistic horizon (p181); Christian horizons always wider than others; the Christian dilemmas on life not very different from others (Thiselton); hermeneutics, as opposed to brittle, abstract a priori systems (Thiselton) (p182); essential in intepretation to step out of one's own frame of mind (Schleiermacher) (cf metasystems in Godel - KC); problems between 'home' and 'foreign' horizons, not necessarily result of the incommensurable; a spectrum of hermeneutical understanding (p183); identifying overlaps and distinctiveness; critique of correlation in Tillich (p184).

9.2 ... A Hermeneutic of Communal Framework (p185)

Heyduck on individuality's zenith in Harnack countered by (extravagant) Pedersen &c in studies of early OT (Joshua, Judges, 1/2 Samuel) (p185). Whatever the debate, the individualism of western modernity a 'foreign horizon' to all Biblical traditions (p186). The fate of the individual was the fate of his people (Wolff); segregated or "called out" in the OT; NT about what God does for 'his' people (p187); the body in Paul as a sociopolitical term; the community which only understood itself in gospel (Dunn); enlightenment liberalism and rights 'foreign' to Biblical roots (p188). Alien Hobbes, less hostile Locke, Locke and Jefferson (p189). Bentham Mill and Kant on individualism (p190). Autonomy as pride in Augustine; Pannenberg on "a horizon that transcends finitude"; Lockwood on human rights: the politics of claim cut off from faith (p191).

9.3 ... A Hermeneutic of The Human Condition (p192)

The dilution of sin to the individual act; Pannenberg on "misery"; plurality of horizons in concepts of sin and grace (p193); Niebuhr: helplessness, anger, blame and litigation; what was "just life" requires compensation; "them" and the wrongdoing of others; victimhood; from the king to dispersed power in Foucault: "Power is everywhere ... because it comes from everywhere"; "The smiling face in the white coat" (p194); control through taxonomy (KC); naked power replaced by a process which is: "... increasingly disguised, and organised as a multiple, automatic and anonymous power" (Foucault); changing ideas of madness, sexuaity &c from the moral to the bureaucratic (p195); critique of Foucault's social constructivism as itself an anti-postmodern grand narrative; postmodern ideas of powerlessness correspond better with the Biblical than liberal optimism (p196).

Chapter 10. Creation As A Horizon of Understanding for Interpreting The Human Condition (p198)

10.1 Creation ... Biblical Tradition

 The creation of the present speaker in Psalms 8/139 (p198-199). I/Thou discourse (p199). The shift in OT from creatureliness to divine love and compassion; hummans as corporate in Genesis 2.4-25 in the Yahwist tradition (p200-201). The priestly tradition in Genesis 1.1-2.4: myth and contradictions (p202); a hermeneutic of creation rests on more than Genesis 1-3 (Barth); the hermeneutic of creation is polyphonic or symphonic (Pannenberg) (p203). The priestly lays foundation for Christian doctrine of creation through rauach in Genesis 1.2; scwo

ience asks how, religion asks why (Polkinghorne) (p204). Extending the logic of creation in 1 Corinthians 15 turns on v34 (p205). Creation and trinity in Paul, John and Hebrews. "The aim of creation is history. ... God wills and creates the creature for the sake of his own son or Word" (Barth) (p206).

10.2 Creation ... from Irenaeus to Barth (p207

Marcion and creation (p207). Irenaeus and Tertullian against dualism and the solitary (cf Gospel of Thomas) (p108) creation neither ex nihilo nor ex deo. God's goodness contra Manicheans in Augustine (p209). First and final cause in Aquinas (p21). Calvin and "thankful response"; humanity's "capacity to be addressed (p211). Schleiermacher "vague" and non orthodox (p212). Gunton, creation: agency of Trinity; ex nihilo; out of love; interactive; divine preservation; history and the work of redemption; accepted by Barth (p213).

10.3 Creation ... Moltmann and Pannenberg (p214)

Moltmann and Pannanberg approach creation and the human condition with hermeneutical resources (p214). "Moltmann traces a purposive continuity through cration, new creation, and eschatological consummation, through the dynamic agency of the Holy Spirit 'in a forward perspective'." (p215); creation "the first act in the divine self-humiliation which reached its profoundest point in the cross of Christ ... God creates ... by letting be, by making room"; love finds expression in self-emptying (p216). Pannenberg: continuities between God's creative power and saving work in new creation; preservation/covenant; order; created personhood and human subjectivity (p217). Preservation and catastrophe (p218-219).; personhood and the rejection of behaviourism. MacQuarrie, MacGrath and Kung (p220). Polkinghorne, Torrance and Peacocke (p221). Kenosis (p222).

Chapter 11. - Being Human: Image of God, Relationality of Others, and Bodily and Temporal Life (p223)

11.1 Image of God ... Wisdom and Responsibility (p223)

Although it must be given due weight, the image of God derives not only from Genesis 1.26-27 (p223). Image of God in Paul and Hebrews; Gunkel's objections and von Rad's reply; "image" and "likeness" patristically contrasted but contemporarily synonymous (p224-225). Marks of God's image: a) phronesis not just techne (p226); Paul and reason; Luther's criticism of reason is specific to Aristotle/Aquinas) (p227); reasonableness that belongs to the givenness of being human; b) stewardship (p228-229). Medicine and creative participation (p230).

11.2 ... Relationship with God and Fellow Humans as "Other" (p231)

c) The capacity to relate; Barth (p231). Barth and Brunner (p232). Barth on gender (p233). Buber on I/Thou; a non-relational "I" is not fully human (p234). Grnz on trinity and anthropology; his challenge with Pannenberg and Moltmann to Barth and Rahner on the "social trinity"; Moltmann on self and narcissism (p235); "A god who cannot suffer cannot love either" (p236); William Temple on Descartes: "shut up alone with a stove ... The most disastrous moment in the history of Europe ... a Faux pas of monumental proportions" (p237); Grenz on Augustine's 'inner' and relational selves; the emergence of the relational Imago Dei emerges with Luther, seeing soteriology as external (p238); the image of God is relational not self-existing in Brunner (p239).

11.3 Christ as The Image of God and The Gift of Embodied Human Life (p240)

Jesus is the paradigm case of the truly human; in sin, humans take sides against God against their own nature (Barth). Jesus the reverse of Adam; lost image of God in Adam and regained in Christ; the Lord who is Word recapitulated Adam in himself  (Irenaeus) (p241-242); God and Adam in Hebrews 2.5-13 related to Psalm 8.4-6: Jesus fulfills Adam's 'contract', accepts limitations, has to look to God in trust, the 'prototype' of 'new humanity' and crowned in glory for his suffering (p242). We can only choose in a bodily life (cf James) but some traditions elevate the spiritual over the bodily (p243); Tertuallian and Origen 'mere flesh' (p244); sketch of contemporary writers on corporatism and against dualism (p245). Kasemann, echoing Paul (Romans 12.1), bodiliness precondition for discipleship; 1 Corinthians 6.12-20: "temple of the Holy Spirit" (p247).

11.4 Emotion, Sexuality and other Gifts ... (p247)

OT: "A living dog is better than a dead lion" (p248); Paul's love (1 Corinthians 13) emotionless but elsewhere emotional (p249); MacQuarrie on "the high stakes" of embodiment" (p249).

Sexuality links relationality and bodiliness; Grnz and sexuality as mutual support; as sexual beings we are incomplete in ourselves; Trinity and the dialectic of incompleteness (Grenz). In accepting love as well as giving it, God represents the epitome of sexuality (p250). Exual risk: paradise and the wilderness; consumerist fantasy and disappointment (p251); sexuality as a paradigm of relationality. Power and stewardship (p253). Van der Brink "power over) v "Power to" or "for" (p252) and often disguise the former as the latter. Niebuhr on power; Christians must exercise power but: "power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 2.9) (p253). Money; the explosion of credit; the Biblical concern for the poor (p254). Time; the curse of deadlines (p255).

Chapter 12. - The Hermeneutics of Misdirected Desire: The Nature of Sin (p257)

12.1 Horizons that Generate A Preunderstanding of The Multiform Nature of Sin (p257)

The reaction to Victorian moralism up to 1960s reducing sin to: "... mistaken acts, failures or falling short" (Thiselton); Pannennberg and the "anchoring' of sin in the individual act (p257). Bultmann's existentialism and de-objectification (p258). Heidegger's transcendental hermenutic against Descsartes and empiricists (p259). The power of sin closes in human possibilities (p259) whereas freedom is being open to the authentic future, letting oneself be determined by the future. Self reliance (pride - KC) is putting oneself under sin (Bultmann on Paul). The link between Bultmann's view and existentialism in Sartre &c; the doomed man going towards a fate he cannot control; his deobjectification wears away the possibility of new life where the Holy Spirit is merely "the power of Futurity" (Thiselton) (p260). MacQuarrie's transformed meaning of death in existentialism. Tillich (and frei) assimilating existentialism and de-historicising existence (p261). Lyotard on futility, corresponding with existentialism (p262). Ricoeur: human frailty, not necessarily evil, the necessary effect of a finite will but evil lies at hand because the will is fallible with a capacity to do wrong; we are not transparent to ourselves; there is the other in the self; Freud and opacity; his multiple perspective sets the stage for Biblical pluralism; mid 20th Century (comfort - KC) replaced by restlessnessness and increased global consciousness (p265).

12.2 multiform Understandings of Sin in the Old and New Testaments (p26)

OT and Jesus on sin cannot be contrasted; Mark 1.2: all of Israel is a collectie disaster and liable to judgment (Schnelle); further NT illustrations (p265); Jesus makes conversion a fundamental requirement; for Jesus sin is a stance, a turning away, rather than simply misdirected desire. Sin OT (Hebrew) and NT (Greek): an action or failure; a more serious act denoting stance; a resulting state (p266); these three terms explounded re OT (p267); sin vocabulary in NT "more wide ranging and more fluid" (Thiselton) (p268); Vocabulary and fluidity. Epithumia in Paul: desire and craving (p269. Flesh (Greek Sark): mere flesh or weakness but also )says  Butmann) turning from the creator to creation; supporting evidence (p270); consumerism and desire; Krister Stendahl on Paul's view of sin as a wrong relationship, not an individual act triggering guilt (p271), whereas Luther internalised. The Johannine tradition (p272); the Christological context of light and darkness. Hebrews: access to the divine presence (p273).

12.3 ... from Irenaeus to Calvin (p273)

Irenaeus associates sin with human weakness (p274); Adam "like a child"; the struggle providees opportunity for maturity; sin is a breach of relationship; "fall upwards" a misrepresentation. Tertullian (contra Marcion): sin is disobedience, falling short; the "traducian" idea of the fall. Clement of Alexandria: sin resulting from ignorance, weakness and free choice (p274); misdirected desire. Origen: punishment for sin is 'internal' rather than 'external'; problematic theology; the pre natal "fall". Athanasius restores OT idea of relational rather than moral sin (p275); the breach of relationship causes the "Pauline fall" (Romans 1.26-32). Gregory of Nyssa: the problem of free choice and the will. Augustine: the primacy of God and sin as misdirected desire (p276) derived from the human will; different works require different hermeneutics (p277). Medieval Europe largely followed Augustine; the misinterpretation of Hebrew thubh "penitence" as "penance", corrected by Luther. Aquinas: sin against God, oneself, neighbour originating from self-love; violation of the purpose of grace; misdirected desire and rejecting reason (p278). Luther: grace and sin in the Heidelberg Disputation (p279); humans not capable of good; human preference for theology of glory rather than Cross (p280); in the tradition of John and Paul. Calvin: the "sufficiency" of grace, following John and Paul (p281): "... everything that is in man from the intellect to the will ... is defiled and pervaded with this concupiscence" (p282).

Chapter 13. - Toward a Hermeneutic of The Fall and Collective Sin (p283)

13.1 ... Biblical Texts Traditionally Interpreted as Theologies of The Fall (p283)

A doctrine of "fall" involves a structural state rather than individual behaviour (p283); NT passages not serious expositions of the "fall"; confusion of Adam's and humanity's fall; then: Romans 5.12-21, 1.18-32; pivotal role of inter-Testamental, Jewish apocalypitc and Rabbinic tradition. 2 Esdras (7.18-19) links Adam's fall with a universal fall contradicted by 2 Baruch 54.19 (p284). The hermeneutical purpose of Romans 1.178-32, 5.12-21, 7.7-13 does not so much explain the theological basis of the universality of sin but is concerned with the current situation, the superabundance of grace through salvation. James Dunn denies centrality of "fall" in Romans (p285-286); Paul does not invoke the "fall" to explain the origin of evil but to point out its universality (p286). Paul does not hold Adam responsible for our sin (p287).

13.2 The Fall and An Original State? Patristic Thought and a Reformation Theology (p288)

Image and likeness not different; innocence prior to fall (p288); Jewish tradition and pre-fall perfection (p289); Ambrose influence on Augustine's original righteousness and, then, original sin; Athanasius: form privilege to nature; Luther and Calvin on original sin (p290). Traducianism speculative (p292).

13.3 ... from Scheiermacher to Niebuhr (*p293)

Scheiermacher: sin as the inadequacy of god-consciousness; initially thought of as psychological, now seen to be feeling transcending intellect and will (p293); problematic sin as arrested development (p294). Richmond asserts Ritschl not 'Pelagian', emphasises corporate nature of sin (p295); Psalm 1.5 asked to bear too much weight; sin bears intrinsic punishment (p296). Tennant: sin as moral imperfection (p297); "man has not fallen but is rising" questioned. Barth: sin as pride (p298). Brunner: "... through sin man has lost his god-given nature" (p299); the "primal sin" of independence; "... The sin of Adam is the destruction of the union with God". Niebuhr: ego in power structures (p300); hypocrisy and self-deception; a preoccupation with self; the root of sin is pride and the wish for power (p301); the group magnifies the sin of the individual; structural sin (p302).

13.4 ... from Feminist Writers to Pannenberg (p303)

Niebuhr, Tillich definitions of tin too male (p304). Tillich: sin as hubris; separation of the will from God's will; the turn from the infinite to the finite (p304). Brouwer and Calvin. Rahner "An actualisation of transcendental freedom in rejection of God"; sin collective in freedom; rejects the term "original sin". Kung: sin is the fall from covenant and grace (p305). Zizioulas: the refusal to make being dependent on communion (with god and humanity); the fall revealed the dangers of creatureliness. Pannenberg: "Fellowship with God is the destiny of humankind, and this finds definitive realisation in the incarnation" and "misery" is the loss of that fellowship (p306); misery as alienation: descent from sin as act to sin as individual act (p307); sin as apostasy, transgression and misdirected desire (p308).

Chapter 14. - Hermeneutics and Linguistic Currencies of Theologies of The Cross (p309)

14.1 Starting Point for Hermeneutics ... (p309)

Paul's Gospel is "The Gospel of the Cross" (1 Corinthians 1.18); Hengel on the shame of the cross (p309). Now "we surround the Cross with roses. We have made a theory of salvation out of it." (Iwand) (p309). Two horizons of understanding:

  1. A pre-understanding of what is yet to be understood; Luther and E.P. Sanders; unifying: someone has done something for us we cannot do ourselves (p311).
  2. The subject assumes its proper context for a fruitful understanding that does not distort nor impose inappropriate questions.

NT writers place sacrifice in OT context; Pannenberg says it is not the terms (expiation and substitution) which are necessarily wrong but the explanations. i) and ii) considered in the light of human experience, grace and imagery (p312): a) Plight and solution: "It seems likely that Paul's thought did not run from (human) plight to solution but rather from solution to plight. ... Paul did not, while 'under the law', perceive himself to have a 'plight' from which he needed salvation" (Sanders); Paul did not start with sin but salvation; Paul did not preach about man but about God (p314). Bonhoeffer's "strange" ideas (p314). The precondition of hermeneutical anticipation in Luther and Wesley (p315). b) Presupposition of grace and the nature of divine love: grace axiomatic in NT (p316); false contrast between the wrath of God and the love of Christ divides the Godhead (p317). A god who cannot suffer cannot love (Moltmann); the offering by the father and self giving of the son are the same (Pannenberg). c) Metaphors describing the Work of Christ (p318): metaphor and discovery in Gunton (319).

14.2 ... Redemption and Salvation (p320)
  1. Redemption: Exodus (p320); Psalms; David; Septuagint (p321); Slavery, freedom and change of ownership (p322); transparent meaning.
  2. Saviour: Judges (p323(. "Salvation" in NT 42 times, almost half in Paul; 3 tenses of salvation: leaving the ship; carried to shore; terra firma (p325).
14.3 ... Reconciliation, Mediation and Approach (p325)

Paul uses matrimonial language of reconciliation (Romans 5.10); reconciliation as the fulfillment of the Covenant (p326); Barth: "difficult" justification followed be "easy" saving from wrath through "The humiliation of the son of God"; God becomes alienated so that humanity becomes righteous (query the terminologhy of difficult and easy - KC). Furnish: God reconciling the world to himself ii) Christ as agent iii) includes not charging sinners (p327). Mediation and approach in Hebrews and Moses (p328); agency in the OT (angels, pillar of cloud &c); axiom: approach to God cannot be taken for granted (p239). Mediation in Hebrews (8.6; 9.15; 12.24) (p330).

14.4 Multiple Concepts and Images (p331)

No single concept of atonement adequate: "... right in what they affirm, wrong in what they deny"; Gunton and Pannenberg agree; Gunton affirms metaphor against enlightenment. Jeremias: sacrifice; purchase & redemption; forensic categories; ethical substitution (p331). Sacrifice: Jesus and Passover (p332). Purchase & redemption. Forensic: Christ suffered what we deserved (p333); problems with "penal" substitution (p334). Ethical substitution: vicarious obedience. Other themes (p335). (No reference to Giard - KC).

Chapter 15. - The Hermeneutics of The Work of Christ: Interpreting Biblical Material (p337)

15.1 ... Representation, Participation, Identification and Substitution (p337)

Ungel on substitution (Mark 10.55; Matthew 26.28; Galatians 3.13) (p337); one person has done something for others: "In the person of Jesus Christ God took our human place" Jesus' whole being is a substitutionary experience; confusion between the nature of grace and how it is received (p338); "He saved us by his difference from us" (Reid); consensus, impossible to abandon substitution (p339). Jesus' identification with us; the nature of narrative, as opposed to chronology; tempo in Mark (p340).

15.2 ... Expiation and Propitiation (p341)

Controversy over Hilasterion (p341). Propitiation contradicts grace (Dodd); wrath of a loving father (p342); false polarities (p343); wrath as integrity rather than jurisprudence, internal rather than external (p344); parental wrath as love; God experienced through the Cross, not glory: "... even Auschewitz is taken up into the love of the Father"  (Moltmann) (p345). "god must" as standing for consistency and integrity, not an external imperative. (p347).

15.3 ... Justification by Grace through Faith (p347)

Justification issues in the context of "being in Christ":

  1. Simultaneously sinful and righteous
  2. Redundancy of faith in the light of grace
  3. Paul's justification and James
  4. Relationship of Paul to Jesus (p347).

Weiss on "being in Christ":

  1. because Christ has come (Romans 3.24)
  2. in Adam (1 Corinthians 15.22)
  3. "Glory in Christ" (1 Corinthians 1.31)
  4. as an instrumental use (1 Thessalonians 4.1)
  5. in a mystical sense (Philippians 4.13) (p348).

"sharing the eschatological status of Christ through participation in Christ's death and Resurrection" (Schweitzer); the community's shared experience of being in Christ (Dunn) (p348); being in a resurrection state prior to the last judgment; being in Christ and Adam is a corporate or structural, not a personal, dichotomy; Miranda (liberation theologian) on "putting things right" (349).

  1. Justification (dikaioo); to: render a favourable verdict; vindicate; put things right; put in a right relationship with. Hebrew meaning roughly corresponds with "to do justice". (p349). Wittgenstein and Evans on ways of seeing. It is not inconsistent to be a sinner in human time but to have been granted righteousness in eschatological time (KC) (p350).
  2. Faith not intellectual but the disposition to respond to accusations of guilt and divine condemnation with an active response of confidence and trust (tillich), ontologically grounded in "being in Christ" (p351).
  3. Paul and James so far apart in grammar, hermeneutical agendas, questions and horizons that they cannot be said to contradict (Thiselton); James responding to intellectual truth claims of monotheism; James' response is dispositional; Paul concerned with an active appropriation of an eschatological verdict but he is deeply concerned with bodily discipleship (p351).
  4. Paul deeply related to Jesus (p352) (eg Luke 18.9-14); "Grace is as shocking to Jesus' auidence as it is to Paul's audience in Corinth" (Crossan); in Matthew 20.1-16 grace has eclipsed justice, as offensive as the Cross; what appeared as a breach of justice was the emergence of good (Linnemann(; Prodigal Son (Luke 15.11-32) (p353). Parables discredit attempts to drive wedge between Jesus and Paul; being in Christ and John 15 and bread of life in John 6 (p354).

Chapter 16. - Hermeneutical Factors in The History of The Doctrine of The Atonement (p355)

16.1 ... Apostolic Fathers and Early Christian Apologists (p355)

Henderson on hermenutic as code (dispensing with the original) or aesthetic (where the masterpiece remains crucial); the latter applies to patristic understandings of the NT (my gloss - KC). Epistle of Barnabas (5.1) and substitution (p355). 1 Clement 49.6 (of Rome): "... by the will of God ... his flesh for our flesh". Polycarp to Philippians 8.1 "... endured all things that we might live". Ignatius of Antioch (p356) "I am God's wheat" &c. Justin Martyr and philosophically propositional substitution (p357.) Epistle to Diognetus 7-10; Melito of Sardis and the ram (Gensis 21) typology. All the above disprove the 'tunnel theory' of doctrinal development between the apostolic and mid 2nd Century (p358). Confirmed by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian (p359).

16.2 ... Anselm ... (p360

Aulen's theories of the atonement; Moltmann and Gunton. Anselm axioms: (p360) only God can right the damage; only God has the right; but for Christ the "handwriting of the decree" stands against us; God stoops and humbles himself as an act of divine will; God gave up the son to do his will; Christ, not compelled, died in obedience for justice; the father "wills" the death but Christ chooses not to leave humanity unsaved; the "must" involved is of internal logic not external compulsion (p361). Sin is not rendering God's due; everyone who sins must repay God's honour; only a god/man can, and must, make the satisfaction by which man is saved because it must come from a man; Christ's death outweighs all sins for all generations (p362); and the Father could not deny this act to the Son. A coherent horizon of God's integrity, relating to Anselm's idea of honour, of what is fitting, and Paul's righteousness, as opposed to "wrath" (p363). Criticism of Franks and Migliore, over-simplification; grace sets satisfaction in motion rather than resulting from it (Thiselton); internal trinitarian transactions and those with humanity are all uncodnitional (Thiselton( (p364). It is not a matter of justice but ontological union that God should wish to retain creatures as partners (von Balthasar - KC) (p365).

16.3 From Abelard to The Reformers and Aulen (p366)

Abelard: no expiation but simply a demonstration of divine love, entirely directed to humankind; the purpose of the Cross was to melt the human heart; grace a free gift; (questionably - KC) equates justice with love in Romans 3.19-27 (p366). Brunner's criticism that Abelard equates death of Jesus and Socrates in martyrdom and excludes the concept of a necessary transaction (p367). Liberals acceping Abelard reduce Christ's death to near pointlessness and ignore it as an act of God in Christ (Thiselton).

Luther: multiple sources (p368); avows substitution but does not exclude representation (p369). Calvin: mediation based on OT; propitiation, substitution and sufficiency (p370). Aulen: Anselm objective, abelard subjective (p371-374). Thiselton Summary: Abelard puts love at the centre; Anselm on integrity and Calvin on governance; but Moltmann: "The suffering of boundless love" which nests within divine grace which nests within the Trinity (p375).

Chapter 17. - Hermeneutical Approaches to Christology (p376)

17.1 "Jesus Is Lord" ... (p376)

Christologies from below and above, exegetical and doctrinal (p376). No christology from below unless understood from above (Pannenberg); Bultmann and NT as "mythological" (p378) myth:

  1. Not objective but existential
  2. analogy
  3. content and the three-storey model.

The concept of Jesus as Lord  is existential (p378); for Paul perhaps the vital test (Dunn) (p379). The danger of the personal dominating the ontological: Lordship not dependent on humanity; Paul's identification of Jesus with YHWH (p380). Bultmann's denial of Christ's pre-existence, Christ as God and the Resurrection as anything other than a faith phenomenon (p381); "disastrous" linguistic narrowness drawn from Kant and Heidegger (Thiselton), confining the understanding of God to the existential; "the authenticity of the call and address of God through Jesus of Nazareth depends not simply on a voluntarist account of language, but on the promise that certain states of affairs are the case, or are true" (Thiselton); Bultmann transforms hermeneutic into truth (p382). Tanner on the personalising, as opposed to Luther, of Pro Me (p383).

17.2 Jesus, God and Man (p383)

Tanner on modernist perceptions of Christ's humanity threaetened by "high Christology" ([383). Robinson attacks "half man, half God" and denials of two natures (p384); the problem of "human "perfection" (p385); The problem of Robinson and the godhead of Christ in ontological truth-claims (p386).

Resolving the dichotomy of empiricism and myth: The combined promise of the (1) prophetic and (2) the apocalyptic in the OT (p387); (3) The godhead and manhood of Jesus coherent in the NT? Both combined in Hebrews: (1) Prophetic: Jesus anticipated in the Spirit of the OT, neglected by Nicaea( Moltmann) (p388); the totality of Jesus includes the OT (Pannenberg). (2) Apocalyptic: Schweitzer and Russell (p389); the apocalyptics never imagined that the kingdom could be humanly established (Rowley), qualified by the twin imagges of priest and king; the "two stories" model breaks down because it does not go far back enough (p390).

17.3 ... Hebrews (p391)

Number passages imply Jesus God but only three assert (Brown): Hebreews 1.8-9; John 1.1; John 20.28. Hebrews masterfully combines high and low Christology (p391-394); the synoptics presuppose what is not explicitly stated but his acts confirm what speech does not  (Thiselton) Pp394). Jesus only referred to as God late in the NT because the earlier part sees God in narrow, OT terms (Brown) (p395).

17.4 The Jesus of History and The Christ of Faith (p395)

Lessing (of the "ugly ditch") publishes Reimarus; history's accidental truths cannot be aligned with necessary truths (p396); Schwietzer's doubts about history and its fragility compared with universality of rationalism (p397); a split between dogmatics (Barth) and exegesis (Bultmann); Kant placed the archetype Jesus beyond the empirical realm, with a hint of docetism. Schleiermacher (p398); denies two natures and cannot reconcile Jesus with trinity (p399). Hegel is 'top down'; in Christ the absolute becomes the other; the idea becomes concrete; Schleiermacher both too churchly and subjective; divine self-differentiation (p400-401). Strauss, from confusion to bankruptcy (Thiselton), shift from the conceptual to the historical (p403). The historical Jesus obscures the living Christ (Kahler) (p404). Schweitzer (p405-406). Bultmann: Kerygtma not history (p406.

17.5 ... The Third Quest and Pannenberg (p407)

Hisstorical method, myth, "mallaeble" historical Jesus and what a contemporary can believe, account for continued debate; 1950s/60s new quest (p407); N.T. Wright on the "Third Quest", literature, theology and history holistically considered; questions about Jesus linked to their relationship with today's church; no advanced prediction (Gadamer & Ricoeur) (p408); Dunn on the flight from dogma; Dunn and Wright see no "ditch" between the Jesus of history and Christ of faith (p409). Pannenberg: "History is the most comprehensive horizon of Christian theology. ... A future still hidden from the world, but already revealed in Jesus Christ"; incarnation in history; against Bultmann existentialism and Kahler suprahistoricalism; Christology 'from below' starts with incarnation, death and (controvresially) Resurreection (p410); Jesus standing within a horizon of OT expectation; no separation between history and faith (p411); Resurrection understandings pre-Pauline and Kerygma (p412).

Chapter 18. - The Holy Spirit: Scripture, History, Experience and Hermeneutics (p414)

18.1 Horizons Shaped By The Beyond within ... (p414)

Hermeneutical problem:

  1. of the "reticent" Holy Spirit (p415);
  2. Translation problems with Ruach and Pneuma;
  3. the "forgetful" Spirit replaced;
  4. the problem of locating (p415);
  5. language degradation. Proper horizon OT (Thiselton) (p416).

Transcendent spirit different from Geist (Bultmann); OT citations; the Spirit falls upon or is given to perform superhuman acts (p417); ruach and q-d-sh; anointing (p418); communal. NT emerge from above with Christological and eschatological extensions; Christ and the Spirit reciprocal (Romans 8.9-11); The Spirit as ground of belief not supplement (Schweitzer) (p420); Spirit and Baptism; Spirit and the capacity to wait (eschatology) (p421); the transcendent, christological and eschatological (p422).

18.2 The Spirit's Formation of Christ ... (p422)

"The agency and actions of the Holy Spirit are creative, life giving, formative and transformative (Thiselton) (p422). Swete: conceptual energy in Luke 1.35 and Matthew 1.18-21; formative in Jesus' baptism (p423). Problems of textual 'absence' (p424); Johannine Spirit; "Fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5.22-23); Christomorphic gifts of the Spirit: free gifts; dependent on the capacity to live out the Lordship of Christ (p425); communal (p426). The animistic (personal) and dynamic (substantival) models and the question of personhood; Paul endorses personhood (p427); personhood in Athanasius and Basil (p428). The Holy Spirit cannot be separated from The Word (Barth) (p429).

18.3 The Deity of The Holy Spirit ... (p429)

Sub Apostolic presuppose rather than expound Spirit (p429); Clement of Rome, Ignatius and the Didache &c (p430). Gnostic denial of Spirit in conception; Tertullian & Novatian (p431); Pneumatomachian controversy; the Apostles: "handed down that the Holy Spirit is associated with the Father and the Son in honour and dignity" but undecided whether begotten or a son (Origen) (p432); Origen less concerned with Sprit's divinity than distincvt existence (Haykin); perhaps economic rather than ontological infereriority of Sona and Spirit to Father in Origen; Spirit no more a creature than Christ (Athanasius) (p433); Basil (p434), Spirit proceeding from God in John and Paul. Nazinzus (p43). Ambrose & Augustine. Patristic era established a firm and stable continuity between the Biblical and developing doctrine (Thiselton) (p436).

18.4 Pentecostal Gifts ... (p436)

Need of stable horizon from Apostles to Augustine to assess 'revivals' (p436). Are charismatic developments exegetical or doctrinal? Do they extract the Spirit from the Trinity? Is this simply a matter of less formality of worship? (p437). Parham: salvation, baptism in the Soirit, healing, expecting the second coming. Barret; Seymour (p438). Assemblies  of The People of God; the 1970s RC revival; tele-evangelism and power-evenagelism (p439). Moltmann (p440): God can heal but the church includes the weak and the strong (p441); a reaction to Jesuology; triumphalism and loss of pilgrimage; aversion to tradition and history; anti intellectualism; expectation of healing (p442); Paul and healing (p443). Second Baptism (p444).

18.5 ... Speaking in Tongues ... (p444)

Tongues in 1 Corinthians:

  1. angelic
  2. iother languages (p444)
  3. liturgical
  4. ecstatic
  5. welling up.

Thiselton opts for v) (p445). Interpretation of tongues; prophetic speech in Revelation and Paul (p446); applied pastoral preaching of the Gospel: intelligible address from God (p447). Acts 2.6 more about hearing than speaking (p448). Luke formative and transformative as well as informative (p449).

Chapter 19. - The Hermeneutics of The Doctrine of God as Trinity (p450)

19.1 Hermeneutical Starting Points: The Relevance and Ambiguity of Experience (p450)

No paradox in one and three; God is one in nature not number (p451). Two horizons: experience; NT. Moltmann & Pannernbrg, roots of Trinity in the narrative of Jesus (p452-453). Experience offers a provisional "bridge", constituted of pre-understandings, if allied with Scripture, tradition and reason (p453); C of E 1987; prayer and worship; most Christians are monotheists (Rahner); Father and Spirit not different "centers of consciousness" in prayer (p454); praying through Jesus in the Spirit (p455).

19.2 ... The New Testament Narrative ... (p456)

Jesus and Father in the synoptics (p456). Pannenberg on Jesus and Father acting in the Spirit  (p457) at every crucial juncture. Moltmann:

Gethsemane fear of death of God; conversely Resurrection the glory of God in the face of Jesus (p458) through the Spirit. Balthasar: the father in giving; the son in allowing generation; the spirit's "I" in the "we" of Father and son being "expropriated". Bulgakov on eternal kenosis, creative kenosis replicated in passion kenosis. Balthasar: Holy Saturday creates a space of creation for new creation (p459).

19.3 ... Byways ... (p460)

The meanings of "one" and "sameness" (p461). Ot God one in action and  graciousness; neither philosophical nor numerological. The limits of Trinitarian theology in Scripture, Reformation and Aquinas )p463-464). "If God himself did not become man in Jesus Christ, then his revelation is not revelation" (Brunner) the futility of abstraction. The essence of revelation not substance (Barth) (p464). Augustine (p465). Primacy of Biblical trinitarian narrative; problems of abstracted doctrine (p466). Gunton on being as communion not something that underlies it (p467). Trinity a technical problem around a hypostatic axiom (Rahner) (p468).

19.4 ... Transcendence, Grace and Holy Love (p469)

Isaiah 40.25: "Who is my equal"? Isaiah 55.8-9 (p469). The language of negation (p470). Luther; Kierkegaard; Otto (p471). Barth denies theological bridge. When superlatives are applied to God they become diminutives  (Tillich) (p472). Transcendence in incarnation; NT temporal and eschatological rather than spatial; NT act not abstract. Jungel: The Word of the Cross; mistaken mystery as silence; Catholic and Protestant Analogia Entis (p473); the analogia of Advent; through the cross God's being is thinkable again (p474); (actions as gold against the "paper currency of words" (Wittgenstein);) God is love is hard currency. The grace of God in Paul: Acts 9.3-9, 22.6-11, 26.12-18; Galatians 1.11-24 on conversion and grace (p475); grace in Romans; grace in the person of Christ in John; continuous with the OT God of free graciousness. Chena (grace and favour), chesed (covenant love; lovingkindness) (p476); ahaba (human or divine love). Time more important than space (Cullmann); Moltmann &c on divine immanence (p477-478).

Chapter 20. - The Church and Ministry in Hermeneutical Perspective (p479)

10.1 ... Corporate, Communal, Theological (&c) ... (p479)

OT and Church communal; 21st Century preoccupation with narrower concerns; mistake building for "Church" (p479). Paul concentrates on what God does for Church not individual Christians (Holland) (p480). Robinson on membership as limbs of Christ and on Bunyan; Thornton on Koinonia as common interest (p481). The ambiguous meaning of Ekklesia (p482). Pannenberg and Jenson on the "Church as Sacrament" (p483). Schnackenburg, echoing Cyprian, on difference between Church and Kingdom (p484); should be descending hierarchy of: Kingdom, Church, Ministry but bottom two reversed (Robinson) (p484). Vision and consequential infrastructure: survival and succession; more complex; balance of vision and resources; infrastructure impedes vision; and becomes an end in itself (p485); fifth stage variously attacked; "It is not the church which has a mission of salvation to fulfil to the world; it is the mission of the Son and Spirit through the Father that includes the church, creating a church as it goes on its way" (Moltmann) (p486); Dulles on shift from Vatican I-II, Lumen Gentium. The narrowness of Protestant congregationalism (p487).

20.2 Contributions of "Models" of The Church (p488)

Barrett on the paradox of church as central and marginal in NT; no doctrine of "church" before Reformation as Medieval moved from Christology straight to Sacraments (Pannenberg) (p488); mystery, Sacrament, body of Christ and People of God (Dulles on Vatican II); people tend to choose the model that suits them: institutional, communal, sacramental, kerygmatic, servant (Dulles) (p489), each insufficient in itself. Bovon on Acts (p490): (2) The structure of Acts reflects the Apostolic Church as participant in the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit; Kummell: Jerusalem, Samaria,  and the coast, Antioch, Aegean, Rome (p491). (2) Institutional or empirical structures: the public domain (Thiselton) (p492); Collins on Acts 6.1-7 the seven were go-betweens, the widows were deprived of "The Word" not food (p493), an act of delegation or management (p494); Acts 8.14-17 theological and administrative; 1 Corinthians translocal and pre-Pauline traditions (p495); Oikonomos (p496); community and co-operation (p497); church order in John and Hebrews; Ephesians; the Church as Sacrament  (p498).

20.3 The "Marks" of The Church ... Discipleship (p499)

One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic foundational but ministry subordinate; 1 Corinthians: "constitutes a paradigm case for apostolic and ministerial nurture of the four marks of the Church" (Thiselton); to be commissioned by Christ is not to be authoritiarian;

  1. Baur on Pauline/Petrine power struggle (p499);
  2. Rengstorf on being sent (Rabbinically); Dix on "Apostolic succession";
  3. Kasemann on the Christological definition in Paul contra ecclesiological or miraculous (1 Corinthians 2.16);
  4. Schutz on the circularity of Paul's argument;
  5. Schnackenburg on inconclusive models (p500);
  6. Homberg on collaboration;
  7. Best contra exclusive horizon of authority (p501).

The centrality of the witness of the Resurrection; the controversy over Paul's claim (p502); the apostolate is first grounded in Christ's Lordship and commission and the nature of the Gospel, then through participation in mission, it becomes visible in Eucharist and tradition: apostolic succession is theological and Christological, not institutional and structural (Roloff) which closes the gap between Paul and Luke. The balance of "high" and 'low' in 1 Corinthians 3.5-23 (p503); Paul denies self-selection; ministers are practical instruments; due appointment necessary to preserve four marks; not competitive, contra Corinth culture (p504). Four marks:

  1. One: the theological and the visible; excesses of ecumenism.
  2. Holiness: misinterpreted as 'pwer play' or moralism.
  3. Catholic: (weak analysis - KC);
  4. Apostolic: Brunner and Vatican II (p506);

Newbigin: institutional (Catholic); faithfulness (prottestant); manifestation (Pentecostal), no longer exclusive. Better to look at practice than theory (Hanson); broad agreement that episkopoi is translocal (p507); the Pastoral Epistles confirm continuity (p508).

Chapter 21. - The Hermeneutics of Words and Sacraments: Baptism and The Lord's Supper or The Eucharist (p509)

21.1 Five Questions ... for Understanding the Sacraments (p509
  1. The Emergence of the term "Sacrament". Emergence with Tertullian on Baptism c200 (p509). OT understandings of Baptism and Eucharist retrospective interpretation ()p510.
  2. Avoiding Imposing Prior Categorisations and Concepts. The error of counting sacraments; Wittgenstein's "drop of grammar" argument; not "how many" but "how does a sacrament function"; hermeneutic particularlity
  3. Baptism (p511). Schnackenburg on Pauline Baptism as: cleansing; incorporation into Christ; dying and rising salvation; cleansing least important. (iv) Infant Baptism. Jeremias and Aland inconclusive exegetically (jp512); again, clearer if washing excluded; Romans 6.1-11 as "dying with Christ in terms of new creation ... (not) individual ... but the individual inside the community (Culmann(); contra Barth, not personal "consciousness" but the action of Christ; Marcel's "priority of Grace" (p513).
  4. Eucharist. The hermeneutical foundation for the Eucharist is Passover; "this is my body" is "this is the bread of affliction" (p514); exegetical unanimity on 1 Corinthians 10.16-17 sharing in the body of Christ; Zizioulas on public Eucharist (p515).
21.2 ... Word ... Word and Sacrament (p515)

"God is known through God and God alone"; the three "senses" of incarnation, witness of scripture, the church's witness; God speaks in various ways; revelation and expectation; the word of God is the act of God; communion with God in relationship (p516).

Word and Sacrament: both are eventful enactments; the tendency to 'upgradde' Eucharist and Baptism over Word (p517); the privileging of didactic and prophetic over dialogue and communion (Ricoeur) (p518); read suspicion of self-interest. Sacraments: as pledges of covenant promise; outward sign of inward grace (p519); incomplete without Word (Calvin); Hugh of St. Victor narrrows Augstine's definition; Peter Lombard defines seven confirmed by Aquinas (p520); BCP "sacraments necessary for salvation" does not exclude other Sacraments; Vatican II less dogmatic on seven.

  1. Protestant Domincal sacraments
  2. Phenomena through which God speaks
  3. number needs to be considered within a hermeneutic of grace (p521);

Luther excepts Confession. Calvin and Melanchthon on promise (p522); Bucer and Peter Martyr on Visible Words; Pannenberg on "Until he comes" (p523); continuity between Word and Sacrament (p524).

21.3 ... Eucharist ... (p524)

Mass, Eucharist, Holy Communion and Lord's Supper as ecclesiological identifiers (p524). Lietmann's thesis: "Roman"/Pauline  proclaiming the Lord's death and "Jerusalem"/Acts celebrating Resurrection, supporteed by Dix (p525), contested by Jeremias (p526) whose horizon is Passover; supported by Leonhardt; comparison of Eucharist with Seder (p527); in both cases people act as if they were there; "remember" not calling to mind but bringing into the present; ARCIC reconciliation on "once and for all" (p528) as one historical act brought into the present in Eucharist, in the presence of Christ in the elements, effected by the Holy Spirit; Vatican II holds onto transubstantiation (p529).

Classic positions.

  1. Aquinas: substance and accidents (p530); transubstantiation.
  2. Luther: consubstantiation; transubstantiation is not a "necessary" doctrine; "is" means "is" not represent..
  3. Calvin: Word and Sacrament are equally Christ's presence but not in the elements themselves Pp532).
  4. Zwingli: real presence not scriptural (p533-534).
  5. Anglican: Prayer books of 1549, 1552, 1559 1562 Hooker on real presence generated by belief not celebrant (or Epiklesis) (p534-535).
21.4 Baptism ... (p536)

Recap pp510-512 (p536); recap continued; exegesis reveals hermeneutics built on unexamined tradition (p537-538). Wagner de-couples Baptism from Hellenic and Oriental mystery cults (p539). all gospels place Baptism in eschatologica context; both Sacraments proclaim the death of Christ and anchor the Gospel in his proclamation of the Cross (Holland) (p540).

Chapter 22. - Eschatology: The Ultimate and Definitive Hermeneutical Horizon of Meaning (p541)

22.1 ... Promise Community, New Creation, and Apacolayptic (jp541)
  1. Promise. The gap between what has been promisded and what has come about; presumption and despair "cancel the wayfaring of hope" (Moltmann)) (p541). The future different from chronology or history (Rahner).
  2. Individualism and the communality of Biblical Eschatology. NT emphasises Parousia not death; Hellenism imposed an individualistic doctine of the soul whereas NT subordinated individual death to the great day of The Lord (Robinson) (p542). Biblical perspective "The eschatological coming to pass of the faithfulness of God ... It points beyond itself, and even beyond Jesus, to the coming revelation of the glory of God"; the universal future of God for the world (Moltmann).
  3. Hope of The Resurrection of The Dead; the creative power of God.
  4. These three hermeneutics of promise, community and creative power come within Apocalyptic thought within eschatology (p543). Apocalyptic and new creation (p544). Apocalyptists depend on god not a kind of Pelagianism (KC on Rowley); eschatology and patience for now and the future; just as raised Christ does not develop from dead Christ, the novum ultimum does not develop from history (Moltmann) (p545). Pannenberg's continuity and Moltmann's discontinuity (p546).
22.2 ... Hope, The Grammar of Expectation, and Time, The "Imminence" of Parousia (p546)
  1. Discipline of waiting and eager expectation. 20th Century short-termism (p546); Romans 8.18.25 (p547); apparent contradiction of patient eagerness resolved by trust in God; the paradigm of Abraham (Panneneberg). The Holy Spirit is the breaking of the future into the present (Hamilton) (p548).
  2. The conceptual grammar of expectation. Caird on metaphor in NT eschatology (p549); Paul's expectation of imminent parousia questioned (p550); separating expectation from chronology (p551).
  3. Time. Hebrews and time (p552); "The Holy Spirit is the anticipation of the end in the present" (Cullmann) (p553).
22.3 ... Language about The Resurrection (p554)

Our Resurrection pure gift, demonstrated in Christ's Resurrection. 1 corinthians 15 (p554); disbelief in Resurrection of body is disbelief in God; resurrection problems in Corinth (p555).


  1. Resurrection of dead grounded in power of God, exemplified in the raising of Jesus (Resurrection verbs passive; God resurrects) (p556), except John 6.39-49, 54; Resurrection as public event in N.T. Wright and Pannenberg (p557); the empty tomb.
  2. gift and grace consonant with the Gospel (p558); "calling into existence the things that do not exist"; that which is dead cannot contribute to its own rising (Moltmann). Resurrection and justification: "nothing in my hand I bring; simply to thy Cross I cling" (p559); Luther and Barth; all confirmed by the structure of 1 Corinthians 15 (p560-561).
  3. "Somatic" idenity:
    1. Barth on the conceivability of Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15.35-41 not dependent on our imagination (p561); contrast, continuity and transformation; God's proven inexhaustibility (jp562.
    2. The meaning of Soma Pneumatikon; a spiritual body that is communal and communicative (p563-5645). The Spirit as Resurrection agent; "To be spiritual is to be the handiwork of God" (Irenaeus) (p565).
22.4 Controversial Interpretations of The Parousia and The Last Judgment (p565)

OT/Nt agreement on finality (p565). Ot Day of The Lord public event for righting wrongs. Acts 2.17-21 citing Joel 2.10, 2.28; what is fulfilled at Pentecost and what remains to be fulfilled? Dodd on eschatological criisis "The kingdom of God has come" not "is yet" to come (Mark 1.15) (p566). Following Dodd: "No evidence is to be found that the Parousia expectation formed part of the earliest strata of Apostolic Christianity (p567); the projection by Jesus is of his own Resurrection not a far future event; vindication and visitation (Robinson) (p568). Critique of Robinson (p569-570). Nearness does not mean soon (Moore) characterised by Thiselton as "sane and balanced" (but almost meaningless - KC) (p570). Chardin on the "Omega point"; Tillich on our standing on the face of the eternal (p571); Martin on the dissolution of eschatology; not handing out prizes but making all truth clear (p572); culmination in judgment incompatible with love (Ritschl). The difficulty of eschatology without appropriate hermeneutical horizons, Pannenberg and Moltmann as turning points (Thiselton) (p573). Not punishment but when "god is all in all" (Moltmann) (p564).

22.5 The Transformation of Time, and Symbols of Sharing in Promised Glory (p574)

Revelation: problems with symbolism "out of tradition" or timeless (p574); dynamic not static; philosophies of time and change (p575); immutability of God who makes promises. Biblical disagreements in Cullmann, Marsh and Barr (p576); God's eternity includes all times (Aquinas); not the dichotomy of time and timelessness but the transformation of human time to God's time (Thiselton) (p577); clock and narrative time (p576). The "New Jerusalem" (p579). Rissi on the significance of water in Revelation (p580). Seeing God face to face "as he is" (p581).