Monday 21 November 2005

The lively God of Robert W. Jenson

Back in October a reader informed me of a new article about Robert W. Jenson in First Things. Since I don’t subscribe to the journal, I’ve had to wait a month for the article to become freely accessible.

It’s an excellent article: David Bentley Hart, “The Lively God of Robert Jenson” First Things 156 (October 2005), 28-34.

Hart rightly chastens American theologians for so far failing to take seriously enough their greatest and most creative theological thinker, and for failing to take pride “in the dignity his work lends to American theology.” Hart describes Jenson as a thinker “more theoretically audacious than almost all of his contemporaries.” He focuses on the distinctiveness of Jenson’s trinitarian theology, and describes it as a massive attempt “to grasp the uniqueness of Christ.”

Significantly, Hart (an Eastern Orthodox theologian) disagrees almost entirely with Jenson’s theological moves; but he nevertheless concludes: “I find it impossible to have done with Jenson’s work, or to cease returning to it as a challenge to refine and clarify my own understanding of the gospel.”

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