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Doctrine of God. Classical theism & the divine attributes. What is classical theism?. A working definition Classical theism refers to post-biblical developments of the Christine doctrine of God Church Fathers and the use of philosophical tools Nascent ideas can be found in New Testament

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doctrine of god

Doctrine of God

Classical theism & the divine attributes

what is classical theism
What is classical theism?
  • A working definition
  • Classical theism refers to post-biblical developments of the Christine doctrine of God
  • Church Fathers and the use of philosophical tools
  • Nascent ideas can be found in New Testament
    • E.g. I Tim. 1.17
slide3

Influence of Hellenistic philosophy

    • Especially Plato and Aristotle
    • Philo
  • Some cautions
scholastic approach
Scholastic approach
  • Millard Erickson speaks of three methods that the Scholastics used to deduce their attributes of God:
    • Causality
    • Negation
    • Eminence
attributes of god
Attributes of God
  • The following attributes are characteristic but not exhaustive of those found in classical theism
    • Pure actuality
    • Immutability
    • Impassibility
    • Timelessness/Eternal
    • Simplicity/Unity
    • Necessity
    • Omnipotence
    • Omniscience
    • Omnipresence
classifications of attributes
Classifications of attributes
  • Communicable and incommunicable
  • For future discussion, Grenz classifies the attributes as: eternality and goodness
    • Marks a shift towards relational understanding of attributes
attributes
attributes
  • God in a box?
  • Barth: we are going about the discussion in the wrong way
  • Schleiermacher
attributes of god in contemporary thought
Attributes of god in contemporary thought
  • Moving from more static, substantialist to a dynamic relational understanding
  • Importance of the doxological aspect of the discussion of attributes
reflections
reflections
  • A Trintiarian approach
    • Need to make a closer connection between God’s acts and God’s being (economic and immanent Trinity)
    • The trinitarian God’s actions in the world are mediated actions
      • Son and Spirit as the hands of God (Irenaeus)
      • Importance of the incarnation
critics of classical theism
Critics of classical theism
  • 20th century theology
    • especially in regards to God’s ability to suffer and respond to the world
    • We will be looking at this further when we examine open theism, process theology, JurgenMoltmann, WolfhartPannenberg and others.
a final caution
A final caution
  • That we should be careful about projection our concept of deity onto God. As Colin Gunton warns with such an approach, “There is no end to the demons which can be let loose.”