My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Review: Jesus and the God of Classical Theism

Jesus and the God of Classical Theism Jesus and the God of Classical Theism by Steven J. Duby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an academic text with 7 related essays on the mystery/nature of Jesus that push back on some of the modern theologians’ treatment of christology in favor of reconstituting some of the more classic patristic (aka orthodox) concepts. Modern theologians have noted that many of the classic [metaphysical] terms have evolved away from their original meaning into something that is more confusing than enlightening to the faithful today … and to some extent I completely empathize with that idea having recently struggled through a class on the Trinity. This book was a welcome addition to my study in that in revisiting the classical arguments, each essay took time to orient in the reader to the relevant biblical scriptures before reviewing the modern objections and walking through the orthodox/reform positions to explain how the classic view remains the better fit. 

The general focus of the essays in total examines the relationship between the persons of the Trinity, the unity of the person of Christ (with two natures) and the authenticity/genuineness of the Passion of Christ. Over all, the work is fairly big and extremely dense; so it is something of a slog to get through (taking me a lot longer to read that usual). With that in mind, each part/essay greatly benefits from a re-read or two to get more comfortable with the material presented. In addition, the topical organization makes this an excellent reference of a particular concept that you may continue to struggle with (which I still do).


Part 1 - Biblical Christology and “Classical Theism”

I.    Introduction

II.  Christological Challenges to “Classical Theism”

III.  Opposition to “Metaphysics”

IV. Revisiting God’s Perfections

V.  Revisiting the Role of Metaphysical Concepts 

VI. Conclusions

Part 2 - “The Word Was with God”: The Son’s Eternal Relation to the Father

I.    Introduction

II.   Biblical Description

III.  The Unity and Simplicity of God

IV.  Essence, Persons, and Relations

V.  Two Challenges

VI.  Conclusions

Part 3 - “Foreknown before the Foundation of the World”: The Son’s Election and Mission

I.    Introduction

II.   Biblical Description

III.  Eternal Actuality and the Divine Decree

IV.  Election, Immutability, and the Pactum Salutis

V.   Procession, Mission, and Historical Assumption

VI.  Conclusions

Part 4 - “And the Word Became Flesh”: The Son’s Relationship to His Human Nature

I.     Introduction

II.    Biblical Description

III.  Dogmatic Elaboration

IV.  Concerns about the Communicatio Idiomatum and the Extra Calvinisticum

V.   Response to Concerns

VI.  Conclusions

Part 5 - “The Spirit of the LORD Is upon Me”: The Son’s Dependence on the Holy Spirit

I.     Introduction

II.    Biblical Description

III.   Concerns regarding the Unity of God’s Operations

IV.   Unity and Diversity in God’s Operations

V.    The Gifts of the Spirit and the Human Experience of the Son

VI.   Conclusions

Part 6 - “I Have Come to Do Your Will, O God”: The Son’s Obedience

I.     Introduction

II.    Biblical Description

III.   Faith, Weakness, and Growth in the Obedience of Christ

IV.   Questions about Christ’s Sinlessness and Spiritual Exertion

V.    The Logic of Christ’s Spiritual Exertion

VI.   Conclusions

Part 7 - “A Man of Sorrows”: The Son’s Suffering

I.     Introduction

II.    Biblical Description

III.   Impassibility and the Nature of Passions

IV.  Impassibility and Metaphorical Attribution of Passions

V.   Impassibility and Reduplicative Predication in Christology

VI.  Conclusion


I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#JesusAndTheGodOfClassicalTheism #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.